SPORT

Sebastian Vettel Hoping For Michael Schumacher 'Miracle' (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

28/01/2014 18:05 GMT | Updated 02/04/2014 12:59 BST

F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has expressed his shock over Michael Schumacher's injuries following a skiing accident last month.

Vettel was speaking on the first day of pre-season testing at Jerez in Spain ahead of the opening grand prix in Australia in March.

sebastian vettel

Sebastian Vettel only managed three laps in Tuesday's test session at Jerez

"I pray and hope he will come back and the miracle will happen and he will be the person he was before," the Red Bull driver told the BBC.

Schumacher has been in a coma since he hit his head while skiing with his son in Meribel in December. After a number of updates on his condition during the days following the accident, there has been little information since on whether or not his condition has improved or worsened.

Meanwhile, on the Jerez circuit Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time of the day ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The returning Ferrari driver posted a time of 1m27.104s, which was 0.716s faster than the Mercedes driver whose session ended early when a front-wing failure put his W05 into a barrier at the end of the start-finish straight.

F1 testing at Jerez

Hamilton had been first driver out on the track and was five seconds faster than anyone else before he suffered his accident. In spite of the premature end to the day, the 2008 world champion was upbeat.

"Apart from the ending it has generally been quite a positive day," Hamilton said.

"After a tough winter for everyone, to be the first car on track and put in the most laps up until when we finished, was a huge positive step for us.

"You have to remember this is a testing ground, the place to have hiccups, and we'll overcome them because we have a great team here."

Raikkonen was also satisfied with his day's work, saying: "Overall, I think we started okay. In the morning we wanted to do a bit more running, but in the end it was not too bad.

"We're okay with where we've started. We know in which direction we want to go and what we want to do."

2014 marks the biggest change in regulations for the F1 teams for some years and the difficulties associated with the the changes were reflected in Jerez. Last year, the teams completed 657 laps on the opening day compared to just 91 today.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said it was "an achievement in itself" to get a car to the first test with Vettel only managing three laps. There was worse for Jenson Button who was forced to sit out the whole day as his McLaren team worked to fix electrical problems.

F1 testing at Jerez