Michael Schumacher’s three-day GP2 test ‘to develop new components’

Javier Villa driving a GP2 Super Nova similar to the one Schumacher will test

Javier Villa driving a GP2 Super Nova similar to the one Schumacher will test

Michael Schumacher will get an early start on his preparations for the 2010 F1 season tomorrow when he gets behind the wheel of a GP2 car for a three-day test at Jerez in Spain.

The test has been approved by the FIA, the F1 testing committee and GP2 – and series organiser Bruno Michel stressed the purpose of the test was to develop the 2011-13 specification GP2 car.

But it doesn’t take a cynic to see Schumacher himself will view the test more as an opportunity to prepare himself for his F1 comeback.

Michel said:

It is an honour and a privilege for us to have seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher help us to develop our car. The goal of the GP2 Series is to prepare young drivers for Formula One. This test will prove to be very important for the future of our GP2 drivers and will be a confirmation of the high-standards and competitiveness of our Series. Michael’s input and advice will be invaluable. I am confident that his knowledge and unparalleled driving skills will help us to develop a great car for next season.

He last tested an F1 car in August while preparing to substitute for Felipe Massa – but that was in a two-year-old model supplied by the Ferrari Corse Clienti department.

A request to test a 2009-spec F60 was turned down by the FIA at the time.

Testing restrictions mean Schumacher is likely to get no more than eight days behind the wheel between now and the first race of the year at Bahrain.

Testing a GP2 car is the next best thing, so I suspect helping them get their clutch and suspension setup exactly right will not be his number one priority during the test.

It’s further proof, if it were needed, that Schumacher has lost none of his appetite for success or eagerness to explore every avenue available to him to gain an advantage.

The dates of Schumacher’s test have been added to the F1 Fanatic Calendar.

Michael Schumacher’s F1 comeback

Image (C) Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service

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34 comments on Michael Schumacher’s three-day GP2 test ‘to develop new components’

  1. nice ! will there be any live footage? would like to see these new gp2 cars.

  2. sato113 said on 11th January 2010, 12:56

    i’m just wondering, if it was someone like sutil or alguersuari, would the FIA permit them doing a similar test?… don’t think so.

    • ColoradoF1 said on 11th January 2010, 14:10

      My question is, does the FIA allow current drivers to drive 2000-2009 F1 cars? If they do, then I do not see how MS gains an advantage. After all, then all the teams would have the same opportunity to “bend the rules.”

      • Hallard said on 11th January 2010, 16:11

        I think that the current drivers are allowed to test with cars that are
        a) at least 2 years old
        b) fitted with non-formula 1 spec tires

        But I could be mistaken.

        • Jarred said on 11th January 2010, 18:44

          I think its just a) as Schumacher tested the ’07 spec ferrari with slicks fitted. However he cannot test a mercedes/brawn as 2009 was the first year with the merc engine, and it is not compatable with the ’08 Honda chassis/body. So the GP2 class is the closest he will get before Feburary.

          • Hallard said on 13th January 2010, 18:24

            But I believe that when he tested the F2007 it was fitted with GP2 slicks, or demo tires or something, so not a race-spec F1 tire. At least that’s what we’ve been told…

  3. Odd: an ex-Ferrari World Champion bound for Mercedes in 2010, will test a Dallara-built (Campos-related) and Renault-powered car.

    • Robert McKay said on 11th January 2010, 13:23

      It’s not that odd, is it?

      I suspect anyway that the likes of alguersuari could have done this if they’d wanted. But (a) I’m sure they would have had a harder job getting the machinery, whereas I’m sure Schumi called and everybody dropped everything to make it happen and (b) what would they have gained? Alguersuari has plenty WSbR experience anyway, it’s pretty similar.

      Schumi probably just wants to test his neck in something a bit more than a go-kart. It’s not like really a Formula 1 test.

  4. Lots of conspiracy theories there Lustigson ;-)….. but I see where you are going. Now as a Merc and McLaren fan and obviously not a MSC fan, I dont know weather to cry or laugh…..

  5. Arun Srini said on 11th January 2010, 13:20

    Can’t wait for my champ to start his proceedings! Go Michael!! for the 1st time in my life I’d be supporting wholeheartedly a driver in a Mercedes Car….

  6. Ned Flanders said on 11th January 2010, 13:32

    ‘The purpose of the test is to develop the 2010-specification GP2 car.’

    Yeah right. Schumi always does that sort of thing out of the goodness of his heart

    • Lol! Nice one Ned.
      His neck has been cleared so I don’t see why another test should be granted. Give the new kids a try. They get virtually no testing time and are just thrown into races while Schumi’s only been gone a few years and is a driving legend.

      • Bertie said on 11th January 2010, 15:44

        Other dirvers have these chances, not forgetting a lot drove a gp2 last year anyway. The main difference being that Schumacher, being the crazy competitor he is, constantly searches for ways to get an advantage. Others can do the same but no one else would be bothered too.

  7. Why can’t we just call this a win-win situation? I’m sure Schumi will provide lots of meaningful feedback during the tests. :P

  8. Macca said on 11th January 2010, 14:02

    I don’t see it as that much of an advantage anyway.

    • Hallard said on 11th January 2010, 16:13

      Me neither. GP2 cars are so far off from F1 cars in terms of performance that it doesnt really apply.

  9. sw6569 said on 11th January 2010, 14:18

    any else think his neck injury may suddenly come back during these tests?

    • I did think of that…LOL
      But from what I have read the neck was convenient after a secret f60 test was done…

      The car was so crap the neck was a problem….

  10. David said on 11th January 2010, 14:34

    I think Schumi does it only to train.
    And, altough being a fan of him, I understand it is not fair versus the other drivers.
    But in another sense we should think that the testing banning is for cars, not for drivers. So if a driver want to train on another series car…why not? It doesn’t go against the spirit of the rule.

    (the motivation for the test, parts development, seems really ridicolous).

  11. ajokay said on 11th January 2010, 14:50

    I don’t see whats wrong with it. Testing a current F1 car has been restricted. He’s not testing a current F1 car, or any F1 car for that matter. So no problem.

  12. wasiF1 said on 11th January 2010, 15:48

    “It’s further proof, if it were needed, that Schumacher has lost none of his appetite for success or eagerness to explore every avenue available to him to gain an advantage”

    I totally agree with you!!!!!
    GAME ON.
    He will definitely come equal with the other drivers.

  13. verasaki said on 11th January 2010, 17:28

    It might be interesting to see how the GP2 drivers times eventually stack up against his.

  14. I can see schumi’s hunger for victory is as much as kobayashi or some one who has never won a GP race. He will leave no stone unturned . I mean no one can ever claim he did not give his 100%. I am sure Ross brawn would not have signed him if he is just coming there to have fun.

    As far as gp2 is concerned imagine the publicity the series is going to get the moment schumi steps inside that car. People who never heard of GP2 will soon be talking about it.

    He is defenitely going to make this season intresting for sure.

  15. sumedh said on 11th January 2010, 17:48

    What a biased article!!!

    “I suspect helping them get their clutch and suspension setup exactly right will not be his number one priority during the test. It’s further proof, if it were needed, that Schumacher has lost none of his appetite for success or eagerness to explore every avenue available to him to gain an advantage.”

    Oh come on. Can you cut him some slack. He is driving a Renault-powered car. Apart from the slick tyres, there is nothing in common with an F1 car.

    That the series organizer considers Michael Schumacher still the best driver to get feedback from is a testament to his skills, I might as well say, reflects poorly on the other drivers. Somehow, this point seems to go unnoticed.

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