Michael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula One world champion, suffers from car sickness.

Schumacher’s preparations for the new Formula One season are being hampered because of the affliction, his Mercedes GP team has revealed.

The team has confirmed that Michael Schumacher gets motion sickness every time he steps into the team’s F1 simulator.

The scarcely-believable affliction restricts the time Michael Schumacher is able to spend in the simulator.

The simulator replicates the turns and acceleration of racing flat out, just without the extreme G-forces, and is an essential pat of driver preparation.

Every circuit on the calendar can be replicated in detail in the simulators.

The Mercedes GP team insist that Schumacher’s car sickness was not the reason for the 42-year-old German legend’s disappointing season last year in his return to the sport after a three-year absence.

The British-based team has invested in the latest simulator technology to make Schumacher feel better.

A statement from the British-based German team said: “Throughout his career, Michael from time to time has been susceptible to simulator sickness which has affected the length of time he can spend on one.

“This is a relatively common occurrence for many people in all fields of simulator activity including military, aircraft and racing cars.

“Michael has not been disadvantaged as together with his engineers he has made his simulation work effective.”

Simulators have become much more important in recent years thanks to F1’s cost-cutting restrictions on track testing.

This year there are just four pre-season tests, making it harder than ever for inexperienced drivers, or those who have been absent for some time, to get mileage.

But Mercedes insisted: “The simulator is one of a number of tools which drivers use to prepare for the race weekend and the condition has not adversely affected Michael’s race preparation or his competitiveness with regard to his team-mate.

“The situation has been exacerbated by the level of our current simulator technology.

“For many reasons, we have invested in higher quality and more realistic simulation equipment which will be completed and available for our drivers shortly.”

Former Benetton and Ferrari star Schumacher is F1’s most successful driver with 91 victories.

In a brilliant career spent hurtling round corners, accelerating hard and braking fiercely, he has not previously been suspected of motion sickness.

However, he made his F1 debut in 1991, an era when drivers spent far more time pounding around circuits in testing.

Today’s young drivers come from the PlayStation generation who have grown up with computer games and sophisticated electronics.

Schumacher’s new car, on which he is pinning his hopes for a win for the first time since 2006, will be unveiled at Spain’s Valencia circuit next Tuesday.