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Berger tries new Ferrari

Gerhard Berger gave the new Ferrari 412/T2 its first runs at the Ferrari team's test track at Fiorano last Thursday. The new car, launched on Monday, did only 17 laps in damp conditions as the Austrian driver performed systems checks using wet weather tires. At the same time Ferrari test driver Nicola Larini was working on race distances with an old 412/T1 powered by the three-liter version of the Ferrari V12 engine.

The first test of the car had been delayed from Wednesday because of an oil leak between the engine and the gearbox.

Ferrari is now planning an intensive series of testing beginning this week at Fiorano and continuing next week at Paul Ricard. In the first week of March the team is also expected to be in action at Estoril in Portugal - before the cars are shipped to South America for the first race of the season. Insiders insist, however, that the team has some aerodynamic devices which will not be seen on the cars until the first Grand Prix. This is to ensure that rival teams do not have the chance to copy the aerodynamics, which Ferrari believe will create a big advantage.

The 412/T2 has been designed by John Barnard and his team at Shalford, England, with wind tunnel work having been carried out at the British Aerospace half-scale wind tunnel in Bristol. It has had to be a compromise design because of Ferrari's decision to switch from a V12 engine to a V10 later in the year. The V10 is 10kgs lighter than the V12 and 75mm shorter, but the chassis has been designed to accommodate both engines. The V10 is expected to run on the dynamometer before the end of April and will be raced as soon as it proves to quicker than the V12.

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