Ferrari tests new V8 engine

Ferrari is testing its new eight-cylinder engine this week for the first time, a sign the defending formula-one champion is looking ahead to next season amid a disappointing 2005.

Beginning in 2006, most formula-one teams will be required to use V8 engines, as opposed to the V10s currently in use. The move is being made to reduce speeds and costs.

Some teams may be able to use V10s with some restrictions, although rules are still being negotiated.

Ferrari test driver Marc Gene completed 100,5km with the new V8 in an old F2004 model on Tuesday, and more testing was planned on the team’s private Fiorano track on Wednesday.

Ferrari has reported the test went smoothly.

Having won the past five constructors’ championships and drivers’ titles with Michael Schumacher, Ferrari is experiencing its worst season in years.

With 86 points after 13 of 19 races, Ferrari is third in the constructors’ standings behind Renault (117 points) and McLaren (105). Schumacher is also third in the drivers’ classification behind championship leader Fernando Alonso of Renault and McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Ferrari’s second driver Rubens Barrichello is seventh in the drivers’ standings.

Ferrari announced last week that it was replacing Barrichello next season with fellow Brazilian Felipe Massa. - Sapa-AP

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