Schumacher gives the new F2006 its first run

Ferrari is due to unveil its new Formula 1 car on January 24 at Mugello but Michael Schumacher this morning gave the car its first shakedown runs at the team's Fiorano test track, completing just four laps of systems checks. Ferrari is hoping that with a change of rules and an appreciable advantage from testing more than the other teams it will be able to return to its previously dominant position but this looks increasingly unlikely to happen as other teams invest the resources to close the gap that Ferrari had thanks to its investment in the late 1990s. Schumacher himself mentioned last week that the team needs to invest more and says that if the new car is not competitive he is going to find it hard to motivate himself fully. It is hard to imagine the Schumacher of a few years ago saying such things and inevitably this has led to speculation about his future. Schumacher says that he will decide his long-future in the middle of the forthcoming season. His current contract expires at the end of the year.

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