Schumacher acquaints himself with new Ferrari personnel in testing

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER admitted he was "happy" after he made his first testing appearance for Ferrari since completing last year's World Championship winning season in Malaysia in October.

Schumacher, who has spent the last two-and-a-half months recuperating after a leg operation, completed 43 laps of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday.

"I am very happy to be back on track," said Schumacher. "Especially as it is on a demanding circuit like Barcelona. The car is handling well.

"I had a good rest and I am in top form. I have noticed there are some new engineers in the team and this was my first chance to meet them.

"It shows that Ferrari is investing heavily to maintain its high level of competitiveness and that there is every intention to embark on a new era of success."

Schumacher also spared a thought for Ferrari test-driver Luca Badoer, who is resting at home after a big crash during testing at the circuit on Sunday.

He added: "I am sorry about what happened to Luca last Sunday. He was doing a very important job for the team. However, these things happen in racing."

Schumacher failed to top the times in his first day back into testing as McLaren driver David Coulthard ran almost half-a-second quicker.

Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen recorded the third quickest time of the day, but forced the marshals to issue a red flag when he broke down on the track.

German driver Frentzen is believed to have suffered a clutch or gearbox problem with the new EJ11 car, similar to that which hindered the team last season.

Pedro de la Rosa was fourth quickest in his Arrows, but the Spanish driver suffered an oil leak with the team's new AMT engine.

Frenchman Jean Alesi drove Prost's new AP04 in public for the first time, but completed just 14 laps and posted the fifth quickest time as he concentrated on set-up work.

McLaren test-driver Alexander Wurz was the slowest driver of the day as he was almost a second-and-a-half behind team-mate Coulthard.

Times after Tuesday's testing at Barcelona:

JANUARY 23, 2001
Schumacher acquaints himself with new Ferrari personnel in testing
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER admitted he was "happy" after he made his first testing appearance for Ferrari since completing last year's World Championship winning season in Malaysia in October.

Schumacher, who has spent the last two-and-a-half months recuperating after a leg operation, completed 43 laps of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday.

"I am very happy to be back on track," said Schumacher. "Especially as it is on a demanding circuit like Barcelona. The car is handling well.

"I had a good rest and I am in top form. I have noticed there are some new engineers in the team and this was my first chance to meet them.

"It shows that Ferrari is investing heavily to maintain its high level of competitiveness and that there is every intention to embark on a new era of success."

Schumacher also spared a thought for Ferrari test-driver Luca Badoer, who is resting at home after a big crash during testing at the circuit on Sunday.

He added: "I am sorry about what happened to Luca last Sunday. He was doing a very important job for the team. However, these things happen in racing."

Schumacher failed to top the times in his first day back into testing as McLaren driver David Coulthard ran almost half-a-second quicker.

Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen recorded the third quickest time of the day, but forced the marshals to issue a red flag when he broke down on the track.

German driver Frentzen is believed to have suffered a clutch or gearbox problem with the new EJ11 car, similar to that which hindered the team last season.

Pedro de la Rosa was fourth quickest in his Arrows, but the Spanish driver suffered an oil leak with the team's new AMT engine.

Frenchman Jean Alesi drove Prost's new AP04 in public for the first time, but completed just 14 laps and posted the fifth quickest time as he concentrated on set-up work.

McLaren test-driver Alexander Wurz was the slowest driver of the day as he was almost a second-and-a-half behind team-mate Coulthard.

Times after Tuesday's testing at Barcelona:

POS DRIVER ENTRANT TIME
David Coulthard McLaren 1:21.241
Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:21.659
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan 1:21.777
Pedro de la Rosa Arrows 1:21.848
Jean Alesi Prost 1:22.422
Alexander Wurz McLaren 1:22.679

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