Felipe Massa says he is already so comfortable with the Drag Reduction System he hardly thinks about it.
Writing on the Ferrari website he said: “Before I drove the car for the first time in testing, I was really concerned about what it would be like having all these systems to control and buttons to press, with the wing, with KERS and so on.
“Then, after the first few days of testing it started to become automatic and, together with the engineers, we came up with some good methods to be able to operate these systems without affecting your concentration and your visibility of the track without taking your eyes off the road.”
He said using the system was now like an “automatic reflex” for him after using it extensively intesting:
“Actually in terms of running the adjustable rear wing, we did thousands of laps using it, so we are fully aware of how to run it – you press a button, the wing moves and drag is reduced and I would estimate the car goes between 12 and 15 kph quicker than before on the straight.
“In practice and in qualifying, you can use the wing as much as you want, even on the shortest straights. This is something we concentrated on a lot during the winter, so that it becomes an automatic reflex for the driver as you drive the car.
“That means we have a good understanding of how to use it to improve performance and lap times, but when it comes to using it in the race, when you cannot use it all the time and it is simply an aid to overtaking, then in this situation, we do not have a clear picture of how effective it will be. I am sure it can help, but we must wait and see what is the true situation in a race.”
He added that the change of tyre supplied would be a bigger change for the drivers to come to terms with than DRS.
He said he no longer has the tyre warm-up problems he had last year: “While KERS and the rear wing will have an impact on the races, the biggest change of all in terms of its influence on the character of the race weekend is perhaps also the simplest, which means the arrival of Pirelli as the tyre supplier.
“Getting to understand the new tyres has been one of the most interesting aspects of the winter tests and for my part, it’s true I don’t have any difficulty warming up the tyres which was a big problem for me last year.”
2011 Australian Grand Prix
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Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo