Massa: “Progress compared to Jerez
Montmelo, 23 February – This first long period of shaking down for the F2012 is now reaching its conclusion. While the mantra repeated on a daily basis by the crew of the Prancing Horse remains the same from Jerez to today – “we are acquiring data on the behaviour of the new car,” there’s a good reason for it: the team is concentrating mainly on analysing all the information gathered on what is a totally new project, featuring some extreme elements that require an in-depth check in order to be fit for purpose by the start of the season. The work on the track has therefore been rather different to previous winters, leaning more towards set-up modifications and on car configuration rather than looking for performance over short and long distances. Yes, there have also been a few little problems on the reliability front which have slowed down the operation, but the guide lines for the real development work are beginning to emerge and they will form the basis of the final test session next week, which will get underway on Friday 2 March, twenty four hours later than planned. Also different to usual will be the running order of the drivers, in that Felipe will start and then alternate with his team-mate, who will bring the session to an end on Monday 5 March.
Today, Felipe was back in the cockpit of the F2012 after four days in which it fell to Fernando to see to development. “The car is definitely better compared to Jerez and we are beginning to define how we must move forward to continue to improve,” said the Brazilian. “I ran all the time on the hardest tyres and I am reasonably pleased with the work we did. Tomorrow, I will try the other compounds and we will work on fine tuning the car. It will be important to do a lot of kilometres over these final five days to be as well prepared as possible for the first race of the season.”