F1: McLaren Prepared To Grant Schumacher Testing Exemption Photo:
Mike Stevens | Aug, 03 2009 | 0 Comments

MERCEDES-BENZ MOTORSPORT Vice-President Norbert Haug said his team is prepared to allow Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher to participate in a one-day test ahead of the German?s much anticipated return at Valencia.

Speaking to Autosport, Haug said McLaren and Mercedes would do all that is possible to assist Schumacher?s return to Formula 1.

?Whatever we can do to support him we will do. I just think it is fair. This is an exception. If Michael had said he would come back under the condition that he could test, everybody would have said yes,? he said.

"His team-mate has thousands of kilometres in this car, and he has nothing. As we are fair players, why should he not get some testing? I would be very open to that.?

Ferrari has requested permission from the teams and the FIA to allow Schumacher to conduct a familiarisation session in the F60 and a chance to adapt to the characteristics of the new cars.

While Schumacher completed a shakedown in an F2007 equipped with slick tyres on Friday at Mugello, the 2009-spec F1 cars are vastly different creatures, boasting the Kinetic Energy Recovery System and adjustable front wings among other changes.

Kimi Raikkonen in the car Schumacher must adapt to.
Kimi Raikkonen in the car Schumacher must adapt to.

Although it is believed FOTA has granted Ferrari its approval, there remains an element of concern about allowing the 249-race veteran time to adapt to the newer vehicles, with Red Bull rumoured to be among the dissenters.

And with recent debutant Jaime Alguersuari making his F1 bow at Hungary despite never previously completing a lap in the Toro Rosso, an argument exists to prevent the 91-time Grand Prix winner from getting behind the wheel until Friday practice at the European Grand Prix.

However, Haug said Toro Rosso would have only needed to ask for an exemption from the teams to allow Alguersuari to complete a test and it would have been approved.

"If I would be asked to make an exception for a young guy, I would say yes. Giving Jaime a test would have been justifiable, but having said that I don't think there was an official request,? he said.

Meanwhile, Schumacher said he was pleased by the outcome of Friday?s test, facilitated by Ferrari?s F1 clienti department, which is responsible for servicing and maintaining former GP cars.

The 40-year-old set a fastest lap of 1m23.736s in the F2007, nearly three tenths quicker than the best time recorded during Ferrari?s week-long January test, albeit in an F60.

?It's a great thing getting back on the track with an F1 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," he said.

"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."

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