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Schumacher Eager to Get New Ferrari

Michael Schumacher believes the new Ferrari can not debut soon enough after the Formula One champions' latest troubles at Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix

The seven-times World Champion was a distant seventh in Sepang after failing to complete the season opener in Melbourne.

Race winner Fernando Alonso finished over one minute and 19 seconds ahead of Schumacher to make it two out of two for Renault after Giancarlo Fisichella's victory in Australia.

"We were just not competitive," complained Schumacher, whose teammate Rubens Barrichello retired after 49 laps in sweltering Malaysia. "There is no question at the moment the gap with Renault is very big. If after five or six races we are still struggling then we won't have to bother talking about the Championship."

The German won 13 of 18 races in 2004 and has accumulated a record 83 race victories in 214 Formula One starts but was again powerless to improve Ferrari's sliding fortunes.

"I can see how it's hard to understand how we won 15 races last season and coming here we are fighting for seventh," said Schumacher. "But things can turn around very, very fast. It's obvious the other teams are doing a better job in several areas and I don't expect a giant leap in Bahrain (next month).

"But it's clear we must improve."

Ferrari could rush their new F2005 model on to the grid for the third race of the year in Bahrain after initially planning to wait until the fifth race in Spain. They ran a modified version of last year's car in the first two races.

"Clearly we would love to have the new car, given the situation," shrugged Schumacher. "It's obviously faster but if it's not ready, it's not ready. Personally I think it will be very tight."

However, Schumacher said Ferrari would not panic despite struggling all week for grip on their Bridgestone tyres in Malaysia.

"It's extremely wrong to blame just one factor," said the 36-year-old. "We have won together and we lose together. We must analyse this race and take it step by step."

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