Micheal Schumacher’s GP2 test at Jerez was again cut short on the second day of a planned three-day test. Rain fell during the latter portion of the test, which meant that Schumacher was unable to put the car through its paces at a competitive pace. Even so, Schumacher indicated that dry weather had held up long enough to give them a larger window for testing than on Tuesday.
“We made a big step forward today as we were able to drive for around 90 per cent of the time in the dry which was an improvement on the track conditions from yesterday,” Schumacher said, as reported in Autosport. “We achieved two long runs which went very well and provided consistent data for the GP2 guys to evaluate. The forecast looks even better for tomorrow so we can look forward to a good final day.”
GP2 technical chief Didier Perrin was full of praise for Schumacher’s technical input thus far. “Thanks to Michael’s impressive feedback we now have the technical orientations for the rear suspension,” he said. “Hopefully tomorrow’s weather will allow us to add more long runs to our programme, and give us even more information for the next car.”
While the ostensible reason for Schumacher’s test session is to help the series develop their Dallara-Renault spec package for the 2010 season, it’s widely understood that Schumacher, in his typically methodical fashion, is using the opportunity as a tune-up for his 2010 F1 comeback.
While current F1 sporting regulations prohibit any pre-season testing until February, the ban only applies to testing Formula 1 machinery less than two years old. Presumably, Schumacher would be free to test GP2 cars as often as he likes. When he attempted to stage a temporary return to the grid last year, to fill in for injured Ferrari pilot Felipe Massa, he tested a 2007 Ferrari F1 car, under the aegis of Ferrari’s cliente program, which allows customers to rent practice time in older F1 cars at Maranello.