Schumacher made to suffer

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The Independent Online
Motor racing

Damon Hill upstaged Michael Schumacher at Estoril in Portugal yesterday as the world champion continued to have problems with his Ferrari.

While Hill set the fastest time of the day with a best lap of 1min 21.10sec in his Williams, Schumacher was forced to delay his first serious test in the new Ferrari F310 because of gearbox problems. Then, to add to the German's troubles, he suffered an engine failure in one of last year's cars before clocking the day's sixth quickest time (1:22.55).

With the first race of the new Formula One season in Adelaide less than three weeks away, the absence of the new F310 was not a good sign for Ferrari, but Schumacher put a brave face on the Italian team's worries. "I've always said that we won't win the championship this year and I have not changed my opinion," said the double world champion, who left Benetton for Ferrari at the end of last season in a reported pounds 32m deal.

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