F1 News, Views and Reviews

Valencia Testing: Massa Fastest On Day 1

Felipe Massa eased Ferrari fans and technicians fears over the potential performance of the new F10 on day one of the Valencia test series by slotting the new car into first place on the time sheets.

Admitedly, it is the first test but Massa will be very pleased with his performance which was a few tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival.

That nearest rival was 38 year old Pedro De la Rosa, driving the new Sauber C29, and looking forward to his first season in Formula One since 2002.  His time may have been inflated slightly due to his advanced testing knowledge after all of those seasons with McLaren, but nevertheless Peter Sauber will be happy with today’s performance.

Michael Schumacher came in 3rd, the German who has made his sensational comeback to Formula One with Mercedes Benz will be pleased with his times which were consistently quicker than team mate Nico Rosberg.  The old master clearly hasn’t lost it, and said he was like a child with a new toy.

“In a way it is like 1991, honestly,” Schumacher told reporters after the test. “When I came into F1 I was shocked on the first lap and extremely excited on the second lap and further laps. And it is exactly the same today.

“I feel like a young boy that has a toy in his hands and enjoys himself.”

Paffett was 5th in the new McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton taking over the reigns from the former DTM champion tomorrow.  Rubens Barrichello made 6th on his first Williams outing, and one breakdown.

The bottom two were Sebastien Buemi who showed pace in the new STR despite only a handful of laps, and Robert Kubica who was happy despite expressing some concerns over the narrower tyres and their effect on understeer.

Pos  Driver        Team                      Time      Laps
 1.  Massa         Ferrari              (B)  1:12.574  102
 2.  de la Rosa    BMW Sauber-Ferrari   (B)  1:12.784   74
 3.  M.Schumacher  Mercedes GP          (B)  1:12.947   40
 4.  Rosberg       Mercedes GP          (B)  1:13.543   39
 5.  Paffett       McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:13.846   86
 6.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth    (B)  1:14.449   75
 7.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:14.762   18
 8.  Kubica        Renault              (B)  1:15.000   69   


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