Schumacher Unravels F2005 Potential

World Champion Michael Schumacher believes that the true pace of Ferrari's new F2005 has finally been shown, after he grabbed second place on the grid for its debut in this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix

Schumacher Unravels F2005 Potential

The German claims that the car is much stronger on full race fuel settings that in the low-fuel configuration it ran with in first qualifying - which almost certainly means it will be a major threat for victory in this afternoon's race.

"We honestly have to say that the car handles really great under heavy fuel conditions," said Schumacher, who was only pipped for pole position by Fernando Alonso. "We saw this during testing and I am pleased on this."

Schumacher could well have gone even quicker in qualifying had he not had a slight sideways moments in Turn Four, although he made it clear that the incident had not cost him the chance of grabbing pole position.

"It was probably a bit dirty or the windy conditions," he admitted. "But I guess it didn't cost me too much anyway. It wasn't enough to cost me pole, so I am pretty happy to be on the front row and I look forward to the race."

Schumacher also revealed that the death of the Pope on Saturday evening had affected his Ferrari team - especially coming just a few months after the drivers and team management had met him.

"The atmosphere in the team is very strange to all of us," said Schumacher. "As I mentioned to Jarno just before, obviously in terms of Italians they feel very connected to the Pope, as many other countries do.

"You can't really explain the words in terms of emotions and feelings that are going on around the team, particularly as we had the visit with the Pope earlier this year. Yes, it is very sad for us."

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