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  Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 17:46 GMT
Ferrari fire ominous warning
Michael Schumacher in action on Ferrari's test track
Schumacher was ominously quick at Fiorano
World champion Michael Schumacher gave Ferrari's new Formula One car a record-breaking track debut on Tuesday with a lap to send shivers down the spines of his rivals.

A team spokesman said the German, driving the F2003-GA for the first time, clocked a fastest lap of 57.281 seconds at the Ferrari test track in Fiorano to beat the previous record of 57.476.

The previous best was set in the old F2002 last July only days before he won his record-equalling fifth championship and with the car in full flow.

The Fiorano track should now be slower after being resurfaced since then.

Watched by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and sporting director Jean Todt at Fiorano, Schumacher was impressive in the morning - and improved in the afternoon.

The F2002, introduced at last year's Brazilian Grand Prix after a Williams one-two in Malaysia helped Ferrari to to 15 wins in 17 races.

Schumacher was on the podium in every race and won 11.

The new car, named after the late Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli, is not due to be used in race conditions until the San Marino Grand Prix in April.

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