Michael Schumacher is convinced he will not be a backbencher on his return to Formula One and doesn't rule out racing beyond 2012.
"I will not trail the others. Definitely not!," Schumacher said in an interview with Wednesday's edition of the Bild daily.
"To become world champion in the first year may be a little optimistic, but it must still be our goal and our motivation."
Schumacher, 41, retired from racing with a record seven world titles in 2006. The German now returns at Mercedes GP on a contract until 2012.
"It wasn't my wish (to sign for three years). The idea came from the team which shows their trust. The great thing is that Mercedes believes in me and gives me a chance to have success for three years. But it must not be the end after three years," he said.
Mercedes presented its team earlier this week in Stuttgart and first tests in the new car are set for Monday in Valencia. It will be Schumacher's first time in an F1 car since 2006.
The 2010 season starts March 14 in Bahrain.