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Ferrari hit the comeback trail 13 Apr 2005

Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari Test Driver. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 7-8 April 2005. World © McNeil/Sutton

The world champions have begun an intensive week of testing in a bid to ensure their new F2005 machine is both competitive and reliable in time for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 24.

The car showed promising pace on its debut in Bahrain, but the team were also plagued by gearbox problems and a hydraulic fault that sent Michael Schumacher spinning out of a promising second place.

After testing alongside their rivals in Barcelona last week, Ferrari have chosen to work behind closed doors for their final Imola preparations and Tuesday saw them begin a busy programme at their two home circuits of Fiorano and Mugello.

At Fiorano, the day was affected by rain which fell intermittently at the track. Rubens Barrichello worked on fine tuning the set-up of the F2005 in the wet conditions. The Brazilian covered a total of 39 laps (three on the short version of the track), with a quickest time of 1m 01.580s.

There was no rain at Mugello, but the track was wet in the morning. Michael Schumacher was driving an F2005 and official tester Luca Badoer the older F2004 M. The world champion's programme centred on aerodynamic and set-up work, while Badoer concentrated on Bridgestone tyre development.

Once the track had dried out, the two drivers were able to run continuously and by the end of the day, Schumacher had done 125 laps (20 on the short version of the track), his best time a 1m 21.694s, and Badoer 103 (nine on the short layout), his quickest a 1m 22.938s.

Ferrari continue testing with the same line-up on Wednesday. Meanwhile, several of their key rivals are due to begin work at Paul Ricard in France.