Alexander Wurz is to make a surprise return to Formula One action after signing a deal to become Honda's test and reserve driver.
The Austrian, who retired as a grand prix driver after last year's Chinese Grand Prix, will provide support to Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello throughout the 2008 season. He is due to attend all the races next season.
Speaking about his new role, Wurz said: "I am delighted to be joining the Honda Racing F1 Team at the beginning of what I hope can be a very exciting period for the team. Honda has such a rich history of success in motorsport and it is a real honour to be part of a team that has racing right at the core of its operation.
"This is an excellent opportunity to play an important role in the development of the team going forward. My three previous teams have all been world championship winners and I hope to be able to contribute to Honda's ambitions.
"The chance to work with one of the best brains in F1 in Ross Brawn is very exciting, as is the level of resources that the Honda team has at its disposal. I am also looking forward to working with Jenson and Rubens, two drivers who I know very well, and I'm sure we will form a very successful partnership over the coming weeks."
Wurz is scheduled to test the team's RA107 at Valencia in Spain on January 22, while Button and Barrichello get their first experiences of the new RA108.
Team principal Ross Brawn said: "We are delighted to welcome Alex to the Honda Racing F1 Team and very pleased to have secured one of the most experienced development drivers in Formula One to support our race driver pairing of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.
"Alex has 11 years of top level experience in the sport and this depth and breadth of knowledge will prove invaluable to us as we aim to make Honda a competitive force in 2008.
"Alex will spend his first Honda test familiarising himself with our team and the RA107 before moving on to play a crucial role in the track development of the new RA108 car. We are looking forward to working closely with him over the coming months."
Subscribe to Autosport Plus
Register for free