Schumacher Confident about F2005

World Champion Michael Schumacher has already seen enough of his new Ferrari F2005 to feel confident that the team have put their Malaysian Grand Prix nightmare behind them

Schumacher Confident about F2005

The German finished fifth overall after Friday's second practice session and, although he has only had the luxury of two days of testing with the car prior to the Sakhir event, he is upbeat about the state the team are in.

"The times we have been setting today show that most likely we will not be the 14th or 15th car on the grid any longer and that we will be stronger," said Schumacher. "Even if we had used old tyres most of the time then we still have set quite good times.

"I think our chances are better than before. I am very happy with the car, I did not have any problems and we are in a good way."

When asked whether he was nervous before the event about the potential of the F2005, especially on the back of the criticisms he has faced back home in Germany after his disappointing start to the campaign, he said: "I was in this car testing last week so I am not nervous any more.

"But it is still a nice feeling to have the car in your hands and to finally drive it on the track."

It was not a completely straightforward day for Ferrari, however, after Rubens Barrichello was left stuck in the pits with a gearbox problem.

The fact that his absence from Friday's programme will have cost the team valuable track data has not been missed by Schumacher, but he is still adamant that Ferrari have done enough to put themselves in good shape.

"In the end I have a programme which does not become bigger if Rubens cannot drive, so I just go through my programme," he said. "It was a normal programme. We did things we want to do for the race and we understand them and it looks very reasonable.

"It (Rubens not running) is not an advantage because it means we have less data. But we have made some very clear steps and made some very good developments, which we can understand very well. I think we have enough data to understand the situation and if you look at the times then it doesn't look too bad for us."

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