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Schumacher tests Alfa at Mugello.

Michael Schumacher enjoyed a welcome distraction during Ferrari's latest day of testing at Mugello, when he ventured out in one of AutoDelta's European Touring Car specification Alfa Romeo 156 GTAs.

The German sampled the Italian saloon during a break in the usual heavy Ferrari workload, jumping into regular pilot Gabriele Tarquini's seat and completing 20 laps around the twisty Tuscan circuit. Although his lap time was some forty seconds off that which he achieved in his more usual F2003-GA, the world champion admitted that he had enjoyed the experience.

On the third and final day of Ferrari's Italian test, Schumacher - who replaced Brazil's Felipe Massa behind the wheel - continued with the programme of electronic and tyre evaluations, completing a total of 85 laps, of which nine were on the short version of the track. The German's best lap of the day was clocked at 1min 21.942secs - a long way inside the 2min 02.760secs he achieved in the Alfa.

Although the team has now packed up and left Mugello, Schumacher will return to F1 testing action at Fiorano today [Friday].

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