Jean Alesi will return to the cockpit of a Formula One car today as he starts a three day test for McLaren at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. Alesi retired from F1 at the end of last season and will make his debut in the DTM (German touring cars) for Mercedes on April 21st at Hockenheim. In the meantime he will be testing a hybrid of last year's MP4-16 -- part of his deal with Mercedes is to drive occasional tests for McLaren.
The Frenchman is due to carry out a range of programmes, mainly tyre testing as he has experience of both Michelin, which McLaren now run on, and Bridgestone from driving with Prost and Jordan.
"Jean has a great deal of experience in Formula One and we will be glad for his input," said a spokesperson for McLaren, adding that the testing was not expected to become a regular event. Alesi does indeed have a great deal of experience, having competed in 201 Grands Prix with 32 podium finishes in a career that spanned over a decade.