Schumacher escape

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The Independent Online
Motor racing

Michael Schumacher escaped uninjured yesterday when his Ferrari bounced off a guard rail during a test drive at Fiorano, Italy, at a speed between 60 and 95mph.

Schumacher, the world champion, blamed himself for having forced the pace of the car on a track still covered with frost. The Ferrari 410T2, an old model with a new 10-cylinder engine, suffered damage to its left suspension system but was immediately repaired, the team said. The German has just joined Ferrari, with the Italian factory bidding to regain its racing glory in Formula One.

The Williams Formula One team have confirmed that the Frenchman Jean- Christophe Boullion will continue as their test driver for the 1996 world championship.

Boullion, 26, combined his Williams duties last year with competing for Sauber, but lost that opportunity when Johnny Herbert was named Heinz Harald-Frentzen's team-mate for this season.

The Oxford-based Frenchman will back up Damon Hill and the Canadian newcomer Jacques Villeneuve in the Williams team, and will test for the first time this year at Estoril in Portugal alongside Villeneuve later this week.

Frank Williams, the team manager, said: "Jean-Christophe did an excellent job during 1995 and we are pleased that he will be continuing as our test driver."