F1

Felipe Massa Bahrain test notes 2009-02-19

Massa fastest at Sakhir Sakhir, 19th February - After eight days and more than 3,500 kilometres the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's test sessions, held at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, have come to an end. Felipe Massa was the driver who started ...

Massa fastest at Sakhir

Sakhir, 19th February - After eight days and more than 3,500 kilometres the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's test sessions, held at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, have come to an end. Felipe Massa was the driver who started and ended the sessions at the Persian Gulf. Today the Brazilian went on the track for an in-depth analysis of the several set up options for the F60, experimenting with some aerodynamic solutions and continuing with the engine and gearbox reliability work.

Apart from some minor hiccups - the worst in the morning when the single-seater had an electrical problem and Felipe had to stop next to the track - the planned work was brought to an end. Today the Brazilian drove 113 laps, the fastest in a time of 1.32.162, the best time of the day, ahead of Nick Heidfeld (1.32.225, 122 laps) and Timo Glock (1.32.445, 65 laps).

"Today was a good day, apart from some minor problems, which held us up a bit. We have to work on that to avoid that they come back. And the strong wind bothered us a bit," Felipe said at the end of the tests. "We drove many kilometres to improve the car and I think that we're heading in the right direction. We've seen during these days that there's a great balance, not just between the three team on this track, but also with the others. We're at the start of the season and now we have to wait and see who will take the biggest step until the first race starts. We'll know much more at Melbourne. It was a pity that we lost almost two entire days her last week because of the sandstorm. But I think that all in all we were able to make up the lost time. I'm convinced that the decision to come to Bahrain for this long test session was very good."

Meanwhile the Sakhir circuit seems to have become the preferred spot for the straying dogs of Bahrain. In the afternoon a couple of dogs went out on the track and it might have been the one from yesterday. Today the stewards didn't get out the red flags, but warned the drivers with the yellow flags to pay attention so the session was not interrupted.

During these tests the Ferrari F60 drove 3,580 kilometres, while each of the two official Ferrari drivers was responsible for half of it: Kimi drove 1,784 and Felipe 1,796. The fastest man from Ferrari was the Finn last Tuesday with a lap time of 1.32.102. The other six drivers couldn't do it any faster (apart from Felipe there were also Trulli and Glock for Toyota, Heidfeld, Kubica and Klien for BMW). With today's lap time Felipe comes very close to his teammate: The Brazilian was a mere 60 thousandth of a second slower than the Finn. A race simulation was carried out with each of the two drivers. The engine underwent an endurance test at Sakhir, while also the one by the Scuderia Toro Rosso in Jerez has to be added. Numerous data has been collected here in Bahrain: now the technicians have to analyse them to understand how to improve performance and reliability with the last tests coming up - which will be held at Jerez de la Frontera and Barcelona in early March. This will be the last opportunity to test the single-seater before the start of the 2009 Championships.

-credit: ferrari

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