Spanish debut for new Ferrari

Ferrari has confirmed that it plans to debut its definitive 2005 car at the Spanish Grand Prix on May 8, rather than bring it in for the start of the European season as has been common practice in the past

Spanish debut for new Ferrari

The world champions are only of only two teams, the other being Minardi, that has chosen to start the campaign with an updated version of its 2004 challenger - after feeling that it will benefit more from the extra development time on its new car.

And although when Ferrari has chosen to delay the introduction of its new car in the past it has drafted it in after the first flyaway races, this year it will wait an extra event.

Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt said: "We are going to start the championship with the F2004B to a specification which takes into account the new regulations and today our programme expects us to do the first four grands prix with the 2004 car.

"Why four? Well, simply considering the new rules, one power unit for two grands prix and we want to do two sequences of two grands prix and then we will start from Spain with the new car."

The Ferrari F2005 is expected to test for the first time at the end of February, with Schumacher likely to get his hands on the F2004B at Barcelona next week.

Speaking about the team's title hopes, especially with a radical overhaul of regulations expected to make the championship more unpredictable than in previous seasons - Todt admitted that it was going to be a far from straightforward campaign.

"It will be a difficult championship, an extremely difficult championship," he explained. "There are three parameters to be considered, in comparison to the past.

"These are the one power unit for two GPs, the one set of tyres for qualifying and the race, and also the overall car package with the new aerodynamics, which give less grip.

"This means that the car may be even more difficult to drive, so these are three important parameters which have been changed. And these are going to make races very difficult."

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