Ferrari to Decide on F2005 this Week

World Champions Ferrari will decide after this week's test at Jerez when to debut their new F2005, according to team boss Jean Todt

Ferrari to Decide on F2005 this Week

"This week we'll do more testing in Jerez, and from the results we'll get we'll decide when to use it," Todt told Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport. "If everything goes for the best, we could even decide to anticipate its debut."

Ferrari raced at the season opening Australian Grand Prix with a modified version of last year's F2004, with Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello showing the car was still competitive by finishing in second place after starting from 11th.

The F2005, which was launched at the end of last month, was originally scheduled to make its racing debut at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, although Ferrari have already admitted its introduction could be brought forward if the F2004M was not competitive enough.

Reports suggest the car could even race at the Bahrain Grand Prix, the third round of the Championship. Todt said, however, he was happy with the performance of the car used in Australia.

"We are talking about a car which won 15 out of 18 races last year, so we certainly expected a competitive performance," Todt added. "The F2004M is an even more improved version. While waiting for the new F2005 a second place suits us fine."

Todt also claimed Ferrari have been too conservative in their tyre choice, but was still pleased with the performance of their Bridgestone tyres.

"They lasted extraordinarily well," said Todt. "Maybe our choice was for too hard a compound. We could have been more daring, but we knew we would be fast and consistent during the race. We still need to work on the first few laps, when the tyres are still cold."

Barrichello's teammate Michael Schumacher retired from the race after an accident with Williams' Nick Heidfeld. The German World Champion was running eighth at the time. Todt said that, despite the retirement, Ferrari do not plan to replace Schumacher's engine.

"At the moment we probably won't change it," he said. "This is also because, if an engine has to last for two consecutive GPs, the one bolted on for Malaysia would have to last for the following race in Bahrain too, and these are two very hot venues.

"Eventually, we'll have to find out whether we have suffered damages from the clash with the Williams. On both cars the engines demonstrated to be very reliable. Now it'll be interesting to see how they will react to Malaysia's temperatures."

Under current regulations engines must last for two Grand Prix weekends, and any unscheduled replacement brings a loss of 10-places on the starting grid in the following race. However, if a driver retires before the end of the race, he can replace the engine with no penalty.

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