LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher will come out of retirement to test Ferrari's title-winning 2007 Formula One car in Barcelona next week, the team said today.
''It's half for pleasure, half for technical reasons,'' said a spokesman.
Schumacher, 38, retired from Formula One at the end of the 2006 season after winning 91 grands prix in the most successful career of any driver.
The German has stayed out of the limelight since, although he attended several races this year as a Ferrari technical adviser. The team won both of this year's titles, taking the drivers' crown with Kimi Raikkonen.
Formula One's technical rules are changing next year, with traction control systems and other so-called 'driver aids' being removed.
''Michael has a big experience in driving cars with no traction control and no electronic aids, so it makes sense for him to give his input,'' said Schumacher's spokeswoman.
Although Schumacher said in May he had no desire to step back into a Formula One car, team boss Jean Todt has made clear that the offer was always there.
''Todt said that if Michael had the desire to drive the car, he would be happy to fulfil it,'' said the spokesman, adding that Schumacher would test on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Schumacher has not taken part in a test since he retired, although he did drive the F2007 for a few laps in the wet at Ferrari's Fiorano track at the end of last month to coincide with a visit of the board of parent company FIAT.
He also drove an older car at the circuit in June as part of Ferrari's 60th anniversary celebrations.
Schumacher was also in Spain on Monday to ride Australian Casey Stoner's title-winning Ducati after the end of the MotoGP season.
The German, who also tried out a Ducati MotoGP bike at Mugello in Italy two years ago, showed he could also be quick on two wheels as he completed 58 laps.
''I didn't come here to set a good time,'' he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. ''I had already ridden a Ducati. The first time I was slower, now I am around 10 seconds off the professionals and that's not bad.'' REUTERS RAR HS1550