Tipped by some to stay away from the track until the launch of the new Ferrari later this month, Michael Schumacher made an early return to the action on day four of the latest group test in Barcelona.

Sharing three F2003-GAs with test and reserve driver Luca Badoer, the world champion's programme centred on development work with the tyres, electronics and engine. Schumacher completed a total of 95 laps on his return, with a best time of 1min 1min 15.410secs leaving him second fastest overall behind BAR's Jenson Button.

Badoer completed a further 87 tours, with the fifth quickest time of the day, at 1min 15.767secs.

Schumacher and Badoer continue testing at the circuit tomorrow.



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