Michael Schumacher is to come out of retirement to test for Ferrari in the F1 group test at Catalunya next week.

The seven-time champion, who retired from the sport at the end of the 2006 season, will be taking part in his first test session since leaving the sport - although he has spent time at the wheel of the title-winning F2007 for some demonstration runs at Fiorano last month.

Schumacher will hit the track on both Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the test, with the team keen to utilise his experience of driving a car without driver aids.

With a change in regulations for 2008 leading to the removal of traction control, the German will now be able to get extra feedback to the team as it plans towards next season and the defence of its titles - with both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa having established themselves in F1 in the period since traction control was re-introduced in 2001.

"It's half for pleasure, half for technical reasons," a spokesman told Reuters. "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.

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

The test is currently expected to be a one-off with the German, who now holds the role of a technical adviser to his former team, not planning to return to the sport.

 

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