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.
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
- The F1 comeback Schumacher won’t want to emulate: Alan Jones
- The F1 comeback Schumacher will want to emulate: Niki Lauda
- Official: Schumacher to make F1 return
- Schumacher won’t get F60 test (Poll)
- Schumacher tests at Mugello (pictures)
Image (C) Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service