Schumacher likes new Ferrari car

Michael Schumacher tested his new Ferrari for the first time Wednesday in a hurried effort to get the car into action and improve on his underwhelming start to the season.

Michael Schumacher tested his new Ferrari for the first time Wednesday in a hurried effort to get the car into action and improve on his underwhelming start to the season.

"My feelings are good," Schumacher said. "I realized immediately that the F-2005 is fast. I can already say that it's a step forward and I am without a doubt satisfied."

The seven-time Formula One champion completed 81 laps around the Mugello circuit for a total of 422 kilometers (262 miles).

Ferrari is desperate to have the car ready for the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 3, or the San Marino Grand Prix on April 24. Using a modified version of last year's car in the first two races, Ferrari has finished no higher than 11th in qualifying and twice had their cars forced out of the race.

Schumacher was seventh in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, more than a minute behind winner Fernando Alonso in his Renault. Barrichello exited the race on the 50th lap.

That left Ferrari with 10 points from two races - 16 behind Renault."It's always a great feeling to get behind the wheel of a new car. It's an even more special feeling after what happened in Malaysia," Schumacher said.

On Tuesday, Barrichello completed 95 laps - about 500 kilometers (310 miles) - in the new model before hearing an unsettling noise in the engine and ending his session.

"It is better in every area than the F-2004 and faster," Barrichello said.

Ferrari said Wednesday that there was no "specific" problem with the engine that Barrichello used after performing a complete check of the machine.

Schumacher used a different engine for his tests.

In the past several years, Ferrari has waited until the fourth or fifth race to debut its new car. This season, the move backfired with offseason rule changes that rendered the old car nearly obsolete.

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