Felipe Massa fastest driver in Valencia

Ferrari F1

Valencia, 1st February 2010 – Felipe Massa was the fastest driver on the track on the first day of testing at the Cheste circuit, just outside Valencia. The Brazilian drove the fastest lap in the last minutes of the session, while he had been leading the time sheet with his lap times before. The 1.12.574 taken by Massa for his fastest lap today can’t be judged in absolute terms regarding the competitors, because this year, understanding the fuel loads in the cars, is more difficult than ever. Although it has to be said that this result is a good prelude for the Ferrari F10 on the day of its debut.

Felipe Massa puts Ferrari F10 to the test

“I’m happy about how it went today,” Felipe Massa said at the end of the test session. “We worked very well and drove many kilometres without any problems. The first impression of the car is really positive: it is easier to drive compared to the F60, we can work better on the set up and last but not least there’s much more grip, which makes it much more pleasant to drive.

Naturally it’s still very early, but it’s a good start. The fastest lap? That doesn’t mean anything, but it’s always good being in the lead! I’m also satisfied with myself. It’s great being back on the track, together with all the others and to see that nothing has changed. I drove over 100 laps and I could have done another 100 from the physical and mental point of view.”

Obviously the first meeting between a driver, who has always been part of the Ferrari family and one who has taken a different road, attracted lots of interest. “I haven’t spoken to Michael yet, but we said hello when I passed him towards the end of the day. It’s very good for Formula 1 that he’s back. It’s strange seeing him with a red helmet in a grey car.”

There were two main technical issues: the new tyres and the cars’ behaviour with lots of petrol on board. Felipe said: “I tried the soft compound a lot today and I really liked it, but it’s really too early to draw a conclusion: we have to wait and see how it works with higher temperatures to see the wear. We also drove with different fuel loads and the car was very balanced under all conditions; that’s encouraging!”

Tomorrow there is an “encore” on the same stage.