Mika Hakkinen arrived in the Spanish city of Barcelona today, moving McLaren to finally admit that the double world champion will test for the team on Thursday.
The 38-year-old Finn last drove a grand prix car in 2001, when he retired, but his ambition to return to the cockpit was fuelled by his visit to Interlagos last month to witness Michael Schumacher’s last grand prix.
His run at Circuit de Catalunya is a one-off, with McLaren saying it hoped to ‘benefit from Mika’s experience and obtain his feedback’, but Hakkinen is tipped to become a regular ‘sport advisor’ to the team in 2007.
Team boss Ron Dennis commented: “At this stage there are no plans for Mika to conduct further tests for the team.”
Mercedes’ competition director Norbert Haug added: “Nobody should draw the conclusion that Mika will switch back to formula one after this test.”