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Ferrari F2005 to debut in Bahrain 24 Mar 2005

Michael Schumacher with the new Ferrari F2005. Ferrari F2005 Launch, Maranello, Italy, 25 February 2005. World © Capilitan/Sutton

The world champions will race their new car at the next round of the season as they bid to recover from their poor start to the 2005 campaign. Ferrari's decision to introduce the F2005 was made following successful first tests in the car for Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello at Mugello earlier this week.

Ferrari had originally intended to debut the new car at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, but disappointing results in Australia and Malaysia – they scored just ten from a possible 36 points – prompted the world champions to rethink their plans.

“The Mugello test, which saw both race drivers try the F2005 for the first time, confirmed its potential,” said Ferrari’s Managing Director Jean Todt on Thursday. “We will have two F2005 (in Bahrain), one for each driver, while for the spare, we will use one of the F2004 M used in Australia and Malaysia.”

Ferrari’s race pace in Melbourne was pretty strong – only the Renaults were quicker than Rubens Barrichello – but in Malaysia they struggled. In combination with tyre suppliers Bridgestone, who took a lot of the blame for the champion’s lack of pace at Sepang, they concluded racing the new car was the best course of action for Bahrain.

“We decided to accelerate the development programme and we believe that the combination of various new elements – car and tyre – will allow us to move back on the attack after two Grands Prix on the defensive,” added Todt.

Schumacher, who has scored just two points so far this season, got his first taste of the new machine on Wednesday and was suitably impressed. "What I can say is that the F2005 seems to be a good step forward compared to what we had before," commented the German.