Mercedes confirms Schumacher GP2 test UPDATE (GMM) Norbert Haug has admitted that this week's three day test with a GP2 test is a "warm-up" for Michael Schumacher's return to formula one.
After reports in the German press said the Jerez session is simply a circumnavigation of the current F1 testing ban, both the GP2 series and Mercedes GP issued a media statement.
They said the Spanish event is in fact a "development test" to gain data for the 2011/13 GP2 car, with "numerous suspension configurations" and the testing of "updated components including a new clutch" on the agenda.
But Mercedes' competition chief Norbert Haug described the test as a "warm-up" for the 41-year-old German, comparing it with Schumacher's test in a two-year-old Ferrari prior to his aborted mid-season comeback last season.
The GP2/Mercedes statement did acknowledge that Jerez, to have its doors closed to the public for the test, will allow Schumacher "some motor sport mileage" in "preparation for his much-awaited return to formula one" this year.
The statement also said the test had the approval of the FIA and the F1 testing committee.
Reportedly on hand will be a sports doctor of the Bad-Nauheim clinic, despite the seven time world champion insisting there is no longer any trace of the injuries that prevented his Ferrari return in 2009.01/11/10 Formula One World Champion helps develop the 2011/13 GP2 Series car in Jerez and gains some motorsport mileage before the first Formula One test in February.
In preparation for his much-awaited return to Formula One next season with MERCEDES GP PETRONAS, Michael Schumacher will take part in a three-day GP2 Series test session in Jerez, Spain this week.
Following the approval of the FIA, the GP2 Series and the Formula One Testing Committee, Michael will drive the GP2 development car for three days from Tuesday 12 January to Thursday 14 January.
Michael's desire to drive a high-performance competition vehicle as part of his preparations has found a match in the objectives of the GP2 Series to develop the 2011/2013 car. As GP2 are currently defining the technical features of the Series' third generation car which will debut in Spring 2011, the Series organizers saw a fantastic opportunity to benefit from Michael's experience and his legendary technical abilities.
One of the main goals of the three-day test will be to evaluate numerous suspension configurations in order to define several new set-up solutions which will provide more flexibility to GP2 drivers and engineers during the race weekends. Alongside that program, the test will see the evaluation and validation of updated components, including a new clutch, to be introduced later this year.
GP2 Organizer Bruno Michel said: "Today's test marks a milestone for the GP2 Series. It is an honor 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."