Ferrari to Test behind Closed Doors

Michael Schumacher's rivals will be left playing the guessing game this week about the progress made by Ferrari on their F2005, with the Maranello outfit electing to skip public testing and instead choosing to run behind closed doors

Ferrari to Test behind Closed Doors

Ferrari's F2005 proved itself to be fast but fragile on its debut in the Bahrain Grand Prix and the team have been trying to get as much running as possible under their belts in a bid to get on top of the mechanical problems.

That work took place under the watchful eye of Ferrari's chief rivals at Barcelona in Spain last week, but their final pre-Imola running will be in top secret with intensive dual tests taking place at Mugello and Fiorano from today.

Schumacher himself is thankful that there has been a three-week gap between Bahrain and Imola - especially after bad weather hit the Barcelona running.

"It is a help, yes," said Schumacher about the extra week of testing. "The longer break gives us time to test even more. In this week alone I will be in the car for four days - and even the rain that hampered the Barcelona test was not as bad as it would seem.

"Luckily, when the rain began to fall, my teammate Rubens had already done the major part of the programme."

Schumacher is also far from disheartened by Ferrari's poor start to the season and, although disappointed by his early retirement from Bahrain in the F2005, he is convinced he has seen enough promise from the car to feel upbeat about his future chances.

"It became clear that the F2005 is a significant step forward in relation to the F2004M and its performance in Malaysia," he reflected on the Bahrain performance. "The way we could keep the pace of the leading car gives us confidence that we are on the right path.

"We can strike back and I am absolutely convinced that we will win some races this year. And it would be perhaps a bit overconfident to think that one driver will win every race from now on.

"I never thought that would be possible when we were on a run last year and I still firmly believe that this is unlikely to happen.

"After two events it became clear that we are in trouble. But for me, Bahrain is the proof that we are able to get ourselves out of that."

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