Schumacher back in the driving seat

Michael Schumacher will absolve his first test runs for Mercedes Grand Prix from Tuesday to Thursday in Jerez ahead of his comeback to Formula One for the 2010 season.

The 41-year-old will drive a GP2 series car during the test which, according to German Press Agency dpa sources, is to take place out of the public eye at Spain’s Circuito de Jerez.

According to Monday’s Bild newspaper, motorsport’s ruling body, the FIA, gave the seven-time world champion permission to test drive F1 cars but the new Mercedes car won’t be unveiled until the end of the month.

Schumacher’s last test came on July 31, 2009, on the Ferrari circuit in Mugello when the German drove a two-year-old Ferrari F1 car less than 48 hours after announcing that he was prepared to step in as replacement for the injured Felipe Massa.

Doctors subsequently declared him unfit to race following a motorcycle accident earlier in the year but last month Mercedes announced that he would drive in 2010 for the Brawn GP successor team, which won the 2009 drivers’ title with Jenson Button as well as the constructors’ championship.

Schumacher, who had quit the sport in 2006, will make his debut with Mercedes GP on March 14 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening race of the 2010 season.

Schumacher is the record world champion in the sport with an unrivalled 91 Grand Prix victories along with his seven drivers’ titles in a total of 250 races. — Sapa-dpa

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