GP2 testing helps keep Schumacher on track

MADRID - Michael Schumacher will begin his Formula One comeback today by taking part in GP2 testing sessions in Jerez, Spain.

MADRID - Michael Schumacher will begin his Formula One comeback today by taking part in GP2 testing sessions in Jerez, Spain.

The seven-time F1 champion, who signed for Mercedes last month, begins preparations for his return after three years in retirement with a three-day testing session at the Jerez circuit.

The sessions are meant to help develop GP2 cars for the 2011 season. GP2 is a feeder series to F1.

GP2 organiser Bruno Michel called the collaboration a milestone. "Michael's input and advice will be invaluable," Michel said. "I am confident that his knowledge and unparalleled driving skills will help us to develop a great car for next season."

F1 tests begin in Valencia, Spain, on February 1 when Schumacher will get behind the wheel of a current F1 car for the first time since the 41-year-old German retired after the 2006 season.

"Michael needed to get in shape for his F1 return and we saw this opportunity as perfect for helping him," GP2 spokesperson Alexa Quintin said.

Schumacher test-drove an older model Ferrari car last summer as he attempted to temporarily replace the injured Felipe Massa, but eventually had to abandon the return because of neck injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash earlier last year.

Quintin said more developmental tests were likely before the series begins in Abu Dhabi next month but couldn't speculate on whether Schumacher would be involved. - Sapa-AP

X