Ferrari recently confirmed that the F2005 will debut in Bahrain next weekend and Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello are eager to get the new car into competition. The team has struggled with the interim F2004M; Barrichello scored second in...
Ferrari recently confirmed that the F2005 will debut in Bahrain next weekend and Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello are eager to get the new car into competition. The team has struggled with the interim F2004M; Barrichello scored second in Melbourne but failed to finish in Malaysia, while Schumacher spent much of his time at Albert Park in the midfield before crashing out, and only managed two points at Sepang.
"I can only be happy about the decision to use the new car already at the next race. At my first test with it gave me a good feeling," said Schumacher, who was behind the wheel of the F2005 for the first time at Mugello this week.
"During the day it got going better and better and at the end of the day we had gathered a lot of valuable data. I am looking forward to the first entry of the F2005".
Barrichello, who also had his initial test of the F2005 this week, is confident it is competitive. "The new car is quicker," he commented. "It is particularly amazing to drive through the high speed corners."
"It is better on the braking and in almost every area. At Mugello, my first impressions were really positive and the car brought a smile to my face. With the F2005 we can really fight the opposition."
Tyres seem to be one of the main problem areas for Ferrari; Bridgestone shouldered much of the blame for the team's off-the-pace performance in Malaysia. Technical manager Hisao Suganuma said they had been working hard during the recent test with Ferrari to push the tyre development forward for Bahrain and he expects the performance to improve.
Barrichello is also confident that the team's tyre partner will rise to the challenge. "Bridgestone knows what needs to be done," the Brazilian stated. "Remember in 2003 when they had a problem, they recovered very well. The tyres need to improve and there is much to be done, but I am sure Bridgestone can turn the situation around."
Some wonder if Ferrari is perhaps rushing the new car into competition too fast; only test driver Luca Badoer has had much running in the F2005 while Schumacher and Barrichello have only had one day each behind the wheel. However, Ferrari managing director Jean Todt is confident that it's the right move.
"The contrasting results of the first two races gave us a positive incentive," Todt explained. "Along with Bridgestone, 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."