Massa happy not to relive Ferrari nightmare

ALAN BALDWIN
Last updated 14:00 06/02/2013

Relevant offers

Motorsport

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton continues to be linked with rivals Ferrari Mitch Evans and Richie Stanaway claim endurance racing wins at Spa Invercargill race car driver Jamie Conroy wants to fuel himself with knowledge Ford's Mark Winterbottom narrowly wins first V8 Supercars race in Perth Tyre management key to winning V8 Supercars races in Perth, says James Courtney Motorsport Park seeks councils' backing New Zealand drivers leading the way in World Endurance Championship Red Bull Racing driver Craig Lowndes makes fast start in Perth Kiwi driver Earl Bamber blitzes Belgium practice for World Endurance Championship Hayden Paddon's quick actions in Rally Argentina crash 'probably saved lives'

Felipe Massa delivered his eagerly-awaited verdict on Ferrari's new Formula One car after the first day of testing today, with sighs of relief likely to be heard around Maranello.

If the Brazilian did not appear overly thrilled after setting the sixth fastest time, he was happy at least not to be the bearer of bad news.

A year ago, Massa had rung Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo from the first day of testing in Jerez to inform him that the car was a "disaster" - a call that the patrician Italian described last week as one he would not wish on his worst enemy.

Montezemolo could answer his mobile without trepidation this time.

Massa said he would tell his boss that "there are so many things to understand with the car and to work on and do but the first, basic feeling is nothing like last year.

"I think if you compare to last year, it's a completely different planet," added the Brazilian.

"Last year I remember I was struggling a lot to drive the car, it was difficult to keep the car on the track. This year the base on the car is different.

"For sure there is relief because maybe this is an indication that we are not going to lose time," said Massa. "Last year when we drove the car for the first time we lost a lot of time, maybe more than a month of development to fix the issues."

Ferrari made up some of the gap but still arrived in Australia last year with a car that was off the pace but that double world champion Fernando Alonso managed to keep in contention against the odds.

By the halfway point in the season, the Spaniard had a commanding lead that was then whittled away by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel who captured his third title at the Brazilian finale.

Ferrari, overall runners-up in 2012, are determined this year will be different and Massa's first impressions will have given them reason to be hopeful in a year without major regulation changes.

"The car is much more balanced. I felt a good direction in the middle of the car as well, it didn't lose traction...I would say the difference compared to last year is huge," said Massa, who will shoulder most of the early testing burden.

Alonso is missing the first test and will not drive the car until the second test in Barcelona on February 19.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog