DECEMBER 20, 2001
Lauda; one off test will not mean regular F1 outings
Lauda, who won the title twice in a Ferrari (1975 and 77) and once for McLaren (1984) will drive one of this year's Jaguar R2s during a special test session at Spain's Valencia circuit on 13 January in a bid to understand the technical systems which are fitted to contemporary Grand Prix cars.
Niki believes it will offer him a valuable insight when discussing the intricacies of car performance with Jaguar's two regular drivers Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa as they prepare to raise the team's game during the 2002 world championship season.
"I have always wanted to test a modern F1 car," said Lauda, "and now I have the opportunity. With electronic systems such as traction and launch control, plus the automatic gearchange mechanisms fitted to modern F1 cars, I feel it is important that I have the chance to experience them at first hand.
"I believe that I am fit enough for a one day test, although if I was to do this on a regular basis, I would have to subject myself to an intensive regime of fitness work, which I don't think is really realistic. But I think this test will enable me to better understand what the drivers are talking about and interpret their input in a proper way."
He last raced in a McLaren at the 1985 Australian grand prix, ending his career with a spin into the retaining wall. During his 171 race formula one career he won twenty five grands prix, started from pole position 24 times and set 25 fastest race laps.