- Jan 7, 2007
- Sydney, Australia
- 2007 Honda Civic
from itv.comSeven-time world champion Michael Schumacher will return to a competitive Formula 1 environment for the first time since his retirement when he drives in an official test at Barcelona next week.
The 38-year-old will test Ferrari's title-winning F2007 on both Tuesday and Wednesday at the Spanish circuit in the first group test following the end of the season.
Following his retirement from F1 at the end of 2006, Ferrari has left the door open for its most successful ever driver to drive its car and a team spokesman has confirmed the German has now expressed this wish.
?Yes, he will test it on Tuesday and Wednesday,? a spokesman told ITV-F1.com.
?As we have always said throughout the year, if Michael had the desire to drive the car, we would be happy to fulfil his desire.
?Of course, for us it is helpful to have his input in the development of the car.?
Schumacher?s input into the team?s work ahead of 2008 will prove particularly useful in Spain as F1 begins a new era without traction control and other ?driver aids?.
Traction control has been allowed in the sport since the 2001 Spanish Grand Prix ? meaning Ferrari?s current two drivers, world champion Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, have only limited experience of running without it between them.
Raikkonen drove the first four races of his F1 career without it, while Massa has only driven with traction control.
Schumacher ? incidentally a staunch advocate of traction control ? raced when the device was last banned (1993-2001), making his experience next week invaluable.
"Michael has a big experience in driving cars with no traction control and no electronic aids, so it makes sense for him to give his input," Schumacher?s spokeswoman told Reuters.
Since quitting the sport in October last year, Schumacher has taken up an advisory role at Maranello and attended five grands prix during the course of 2007.
Although he has already driven the F2007 in a demonstration at Fiorano last month, his Barcelona run will mark his first extensive run-out since retiring.
He will follow this up with a kart race in Brazil before heading to Wembley to take part in the Race of Champions on December 16.