Mika asked for the opportunity to re-familiarise himself with a Formula 1 car, and the team will use this test to benefit from Mika's experience and obtain his feedback with regards to changes in downforce, engine and tyres following the regulatory changes which have occurred since he last drove a Formula 1 car.
Since retiring from Formula 1, Mika has remained an integral part of the Team McLaren Mercedes family by competing in the DTM Touring Car Championship as a works driver for Mercedes-Benz with an AMG-Mercedes C Class. Only last week the links were further strengthened when Mika was announced as an ambassador for Johnnie Walker – a long-term commercial partner of Team McLaren Mercedes.
"I'm really excited about driving a Team McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car again and to be re-engaging with the team," said the 38-year-old Finn. "I have followed the Formula 1 World Championship closely since my retirement at the end of the 2001 season, but it was when I was at this year's Brazilian Grand Prix as a guest of the team that I really felt I would like to get a chance to drive a Formula 1 car again. I have recently spent some time in Team McLaren Mercedes' simulator in Woking and to get the possibility to drive the MP4-21 is something I'm really looking forward to. I would like to thank Ron and Norbert for making this happen. This test is a chance for me to see how much Formula 1 cars have advanced and experience first hand what they are like to drive today as well as providing the team with some feedback on various aspects of the car's performance."