Ferrari Expect to Test New Car in January

Ferrari aim to have their 2006 Formula One car on track in January, technical director Ross Brawn said on Friday

Ferrari Expect to Test New Car in January

"The engine has been running in a hybrid car and will continue to run for the next four or five months," he told reporters at the Japanese Grand Prix.

"We plan to bring the new car out during January, so it will be earlier than previous cars. The engine probably has the longest lead time of all the parts we need for next year and that's getting updates and revisions as we go along."

He said the engine specification would be frozen at the end of the year with the new car and engine package running by the middle of January.

Although the calendar has yet to be finalised, the season is expected to start in Bahrain on March 12.

Ferrari began this year with their 2004 Championship-winning car but have no option but to start with the new one next season due to the switch from 3.0 litre V10 engines to 2.4 litre V8s.

The Italian team have had a dismal season by their standards, winning only once - a hollow victory in the six-car U.S. Grand Prix after Michelin-equipped teams withdrew - after taking 15 wins in 18 races in 2004.

Seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher has taken time off between the end of the season in October and January in recent seasons and Brawn said that was unlikely to change.

"It's possible but it is not necessary to use Michael for reliability running," he said.

"I think the engine is still at a fairly early stage where mapping and fine tuning is not a priority and Michael needs some time away from the car like everyone.

"Traditionally Michael's had a month or six weeks away from Formula One to recharge his batteries and we won't use Michael unless it is absolutely essential."

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