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Michael Schumacher to test drive for Ferrari

 
Michael Schumcher to test drive for Ferrari
Back in the saddle: Schumacher will test for Ferrari next week

Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher will come out of retirement to test Ferrari's title-winning 2007 Formula One car in Barcelona next week.

Schumacher, 38, retired from Formula One at the end of the 2006 season after winning 91 grands prix in the most successful career of any driver. He attended several races this year as a technical advisor to the Ferrari team as they won the and drivers' championship, through Kimi Raikkonen, and constructors' title.

But with F1 technical rules undergoing change for next season, including the banning of traction control systems, Ferrari are tapping into Schumacher's expertise and experience in testing sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya next Tuesday and Wednesday.

"It's half for pleasure, half for technical reasons," said a team spokesman.

"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," said Schumacher's spokeswoman.

Although Schumacher said in May he had no desire to step back into a Formula One car, team boss Jean Todt has made clear that the offer was always there.

"Todt said that if Michael had the desire to drive the car, he would be happy to fulfil it," said the spokesman.

Schumacher has not taken part in a test since he retired, although he did drive the F2007 for a few laps in the wet at Ferrari's Fiorano track at the end of last month to coincide with a visit of the board of parent company Fiat.

He also drove an older car at the circuit in June as part of Ferrari's 60th anniversary celebrations.

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