Massa left wanting more track time

2013 F1 season

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Felipe Massa said he was hoping to do more meaningful testing after spending three days at the wheel of the Ferrari F138.

“I think it was an important three days even if I did so many things that is like straight line tests, doing slow laps, constant speed runs,” he told media after today’s test.

“It’s not like really a test that you run out of time quick trying to find a balance of the car, trying to find the set-up and everything so I did a lot of this on the first two days. Not as many laps I expect to do.”

He played down the significance of ending the day with the fastest time so far: “The car was responding but as I said I didn’t do many changes that see maybe the car gets better or maybe the car gets worse, I didn’t really do that.

“OK, I mean, it’s always nice to arrive at the end of the day and see your name in the first position and see that you are the quickest car but honestly it doesn’t count anything. For sure if I am the last you are always a little bit more frustrated.”

Massa set his quickest time on soft tyres. It was a second faster than Jenson Button’s best effort on Tuesday, which Massa described as “incredible” at the time:

“I still believe his lap was incredible,” said Massa. “I mean doing on hard tyres on the first day on the dirty track and everything I still believe it was a quick lap time.

“But I also didn’t have the car to do this lap time on the first day. We didn’t even try, I need to work for the lap time. But I think the lap was impressive. For sure many people is thinking the same about me now. I think we for sure improved the car.”

“I think everything we did it was important to find a little bit the right direction to work in the car,” he added.

“Today we managed to do more runs more laps I managed to do even to try different tyres. I improve a lot when I try the soft, manage to improve a big amount, even more than I expect on the soft.

“But I think even the consistent of the car and everything is not so bad. I didn’t work on the set-up, I didn’t take like for example a morning that this morning we are going to work just on the set-up, try everything possible, I didn’t have time to do that. But I can’t say that the car was not really, really difficult to drive I think the balance was more or less in the good direction.”

Twelve months on from Ferrari’s struggles with the F2012 in testing, Massa is reluctant to say how they compare to their rivals:

“To be honest I’m sure there is a lot of very quick cars around the track I don’t know if we are really around that position for the first race.

“We need to work a lot, we need to really concentrate 100% to take this work within this week and make the car quicker and quicker to be ready for the first race. I don’t know if we are ready now but for sure it was a positive start.”

Massa completed 227 laps during the test. Pedro de la Rosa will take over from him in the car tomorrow.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Massa left wanting more track time”

  1. I don’t think Nico Rosberg will be saying that after doing 148 laps!

  2. Hmmmm these are very positive news coming from Felipe. Even if the lap was done in soft rubber, it still is a good sign and gives me hope as a Ferrari fan that this season will be a battle on a much more leveled playing field!
    Nothing can really be drawn from these tests as every team goes through their own programs as they see fit but it seems that it´s gonna be an even tighter season!
    Melbourne cannot come soon enough!

  3. You can see why it was a great idea from Alonso to miss this test. Most of the donkey work of doing aero test and calibrations is going to be done here and not meaningful runs.

  4. So, if the soft tyre is so much quicker,we can expect to see the first 3 rows pitting for new tyres on laps 5/7 of the race.

  5. “To be honest I’m sure there is a lot of very quick cars around the track I don’t know if we are really around that position for the first race”

    That doesn’t fill me with confidence. Ferrari can’t afford to start this season in the midfield again, let alone be any significant margin behind Red Bull or McLaren. We’ll see what Alonso says.

    1. I can understand why Felipe isn’t full of confidence to be honest. As always, headline times in testing are meaningless without looking at them in context. For example, Massa did his fastest lap on the first lap of a 5 lap stint, on the soft tyres, so we know he had at least another 4 10ths in the car in terms of the extra fuel he’s carrying around. That gives him a lap time of 1.17.4 on the soft tyres.

      This seems good until you look at the Mercedes of Rosberg. He did his fastest lap on the first of a 16 lap run, meaning he has at least another 1.5 seconds in terms of carrying around the extra fuel (I’m basing this all on the basic principle of 1 10th per lap of fuel we often hear about). So that gives Rosberg an ultimate lap time 1.17.3. But then we have to consider that this was on the Medium tyres, so on the softs, Rosberg could easily get into the 1.16s.

      Of course, this is still making a lot of assumptions about fuel loads etc, but it just gives a good example of why Massa may not be so happy with performance of his new car as you might expect. (And it’s a damn sight more insightful than Andrew Benson’s beloved average lap times!)

      1. Yeah I generally ignore comparisons of lap times and overviews of runs altogether – this early into testing there are far too many variables to compare times set by different cars in my view. You make some very good points about Rosberg and his runs, but whatever about Ferrari’s true pace I’d be very surprised to see Mercedes leapfrogging them since last season!
        I just go by what teams and drivers are saying or are not saying, and try to get a feel for what kind of expectations they’re trying to manage, hence my concern over Felipe’s comments.

      2. One thing you didnt’ account for is Massa saying he never got chance to set the car up to his liking, thats worth more time – for sure :) watch Ted Kravitzs’ news from the pit lane day 3, that will explain why Felipe is feeling the way he is! – for sure :)

  6. I hope this season will be even closer than last year, but I fear for Red Bull and McLaren. Ferrari at least look better now.

  7. Difficult to say how good things look but it’s easier to say that things don’t seem so bad this year. Hopefully a more competitive Ferrari and Massa (based on his form towards the end of 2012) will upset the order a bit.

  8. Looking good so far, hopefully it will be a close season all the way to the end. Mercedes better get their act together as Lotus looks pretty strong out of the box.

  9. I hope McLaren will win this seasons title. It has been too long, and Red Bull(Adrian Newey Racing) is starting to annoy me.

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