Michael Schumacher returned to the cockpit of a racing car on Tuesday morning courtesy of a three-day GP2 testing programme at Jerez.

With the returning champion not allowed to get back in F1 machinery until the testing ban is lifted at the start of February, his new employers at Mercedes GP managed to secure FIA permission for the 41-year-old to carry out three days worth of track testing in the GP2 Series’ next-generation car at Jerez this week.

During the test, he focused on evaluating a number of suspension configurations in order to define new set-up solutions for the GP2 race weekends this year.

The test will also be used to evaluate updated components, including a new clutch, to be introduced later in the season.

It is the first time Schumacher drives a single-seater since he tried to make a comeback to F1 last year to replace the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari.

Highlights of his testing foray are below:

Sadly for the German, the opening test day was hampered by wet weather and he was unable to perform any runs on slick tyres.

In spite of the poor weather and the obvious fact that a GP2 car is nowhere near as physical to drive as an F1 car, Schumacher still found the experience useful.

“The day today was good especially because after a long time I could drive again in a car that came almost close to a current Formula 1,“ he said on his personal website.

“Despite the weather not being what we all would have liked all my senses were nevertheless on full alert – this alone was worth it.

“I gain a lot from being here because even if you cannot reach F1-level in terms of g-forces you are still able to practise the communication with the engineers and the sensibility on the limit. Fortunately it was back very soon."

Schumacher will continue his GP2 testing on Wednesday and Thursday.

[Image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.