Michael Schumacher is expected to be given special permission by the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) to test the Ferrari F60 chassis as he prepares for his comeback in Valencia later this month where he will substitute for the injured Felipe Massa.
Testing midway through the season is banned this year under the new rules but Ferrari submitted a special petition to all of the teams asking that an exception be made so that Schumacher can acclimatise himself with the 2009-specification car ahead of his return to grand prix racing.
FOTA vice president John Howett told Speed TV: “I believe all FOTA teams have agreed to accept their request. The situation for Felipe is very unfortunate and this is a sporting gesture which we are confident Ferrari will respect.”
Schumacher has already tested Ferrari’s F2007 chassis as Ferrari made use of a loophole in the regulations and ran a version of the car developed by their F1 Clienti department at Mugello on Friday.
The seven times world champion completed 67 laps and posted a best time of 1:23.736, it was the first time he has driven a Formula One car since April 2008 when he tested for Ferrari in his role as a consultant.
“It’s a great thing getting back on the track with an F1 [car] even if this was a car from 2007 from the F1 Clienti department with slicks usually used in GP2 and obviously there is no real point of reference,” said the German.
“After a couple of laps I was able to drive constant lap times and I’m happy with the performance. Now we’ve got to see how my body and the muscles respond in the next days.”