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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 17:33 GMT
Schumacher happy with new Ferrari
Reigning world champion Michael Schumacher
World champion Michael Schumacher was upbeat after testing Ferrari's new car for the first time on Wednesday.

"My feelings are good," Schumacher said after driving 50 laps in the new car at Ferrari's Mugello test track.

"I realised immediately that the F2005 is fast. I can already say it's a step forward and I'm undoubtedly satisfied."

The reigning world champion has had a poor start to the Formula One season and only has two points after the first two Grands Prix.

Ferrari have started the season with an updated version of last year's car but the move has backfired this season as rule changes in the off-season have left their virtually unbeatable 2004 model well off the pace.

Ferrari have taken just 10 points from the first two races and are considering whether to use the new car at the Bahrain Grand Prix on 3 April.

"It's always a great feeling to get behind the wheel of a new car," said Schumacher.

"It was wonderful to get in it and finally drive it.

"It was important for me to try it for myself after the positive feedback from (fellow Ferrari drivers) Luca Badoer and Rubens Barrichello."

On Tuesday, Barrichello tried out the new car only to have his session end prematurely when he heard something wrong with the engine.

However, despite the mishap Ferrari's number two driver said he was impressed.

"I was really happy with the handling of the car, which is extremely quick," said the Brazilian.

"It is better in every area than the F2004 and faster."

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