New Ferrari comes out fighting

New Ferrari comes out fighting

The Ferrari F2003-GA hit the track for the first time this week and the new car came out fighting. With Michael Schumacher behind the wheel, the F2003-GA broke the lap record at Ferrari's Fiorano test track on its debut on Tuesday. Schumacher set...

The Ferrari F2003-GA hit the track for the first time this week and the new car came out fighting. With Michael Schumacher behind the wheel, the F2003-GA broke the lap record at Ferrari's Fiorano test track on its debut on Tuesday. Schumacher set a fastest of 57.045 on the short track of the circuit and not only was the car fast, it ran a reliable 78 laps without any problems.

Michael Schumacher with the new Ferrari F2003-GA.
Photo by Ferrari Media Center.
"Gianni Agnelli would have been happy with this car and this team," said Schumacher. "Today, we achieved a very good result with great reliability. I am very happy with this first day of testing."

It's an ominous sign for Ferrari's competitors, the time being half a second faster than Schumacher's previous best at Fiorano. However, the German was not the only one setting benchmarks this week -- Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya broke the lap record at Valencia yesterday, knocking half a second off the previous best with a 1:10.153.

While Ferrari look set to be dominant again this season, Schumacher's long term future is assured as long as he still has the motivation: "I'm in the lucky position that the decision depends mainly on me," he told Kicker magazine. "The car is changing so I have to change. The day when I don't do anything or don't want to do anything is also the day that I'd be better off giving up."

The five-time champion was virtually guaranteed a race seat for life with Ferrari by president Luca di Montezemolo. Speculation ran rife last year that Schumacher might quit when he won his fifth world title, but why anyone would think Michael would stop there is a mystery.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Luca di Montezemolo
Teams Ferrari , Williams