Massa fast in Barcelona's final February test days

Massa fast in Barcelona's final February test days

By: Max Davies, F1 correspondent

Massa quickest on final day in Barcelona

Felipe Massa brought the third Formula One pre-season winter test session to a close by setting fastest lap on day four at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain.

"The outcome of testing up to the end of today has been positive," said Massa. "We really did a lot of kilometres and I think our team actually completed more than anyone else. Both myself and Fernando did a real and genuine race simulation and we tried all the types of Pirelli tyre with different fuel levels."

Felipe Massa, Ferrari
Felipe Massa, Ferrari

On what was another productive day for Ferrari, the Brazilian lapped the 4.655km/2.892 mile circuit in 1m22.625s and was over 0.8s quicker than his nearest challenger Red Bull's Mark Webber and covered 121 laps as the Italian squad continued their impressive collection of vital mileage.

"Where are we compared to the others? I don't know and until we are all doing the same things at the same time, in other words at the first race, then we won't know for certain. The Red Bull is definitely very quick and that's a fact. Today, we did a good lap time and I think we are not off the pace: however, yesterday Rosberg was quick for example and you definitely cannot rule out McLaren and some other teams," commented Massa.

Like Webber, Massa's lap was set over a two-lap stint and served to heighten speculation that the Maranello concern could be the pace setters come the start of the season in Australia, following the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier today.

Massa spoke to the media about Bahrain: "The programme involved going to Bahrain for the race as well as the test, but I think this is the right decision because the situation there is very serious. If there is just the slightest risk, it is better not to go, but the most important thing is that the situation in Bahrain calms down to what it was before and that everything is peaceful again."

Continuing Toro Rosso's impressive winter testing performances, Sebastien Buemi took third with a best time of 1m23.550s, which was set over the course of a three-lap run in a day when the Swiss driver accumulated 90 laps.

Renault's Nick Heidfeld endured a frustrating morning after a KERS problem took a while to rectify and finished with fourth on a 1m23.657s, and a total of 95 laps for the day.

Back in the cockpit for McLaren, Lewis Hamilton was fifth after completing 107 laps and a best time of 1m24.003s, ahead of Pastor Maldonado in the Williams who was sixth. The Veneuzuelan's best effort of 1m24.057s did impress but he was the cause of one red flag when he stopped on the track during the afternoon.

Adrian Sutil's 1m24.177s in the Force India was good enough for seventh on a day when he completed only 64 laps.

Sergio Perez was ninth for Sauber after amassing 74 laps and a best time of 1m24.515s.

A difficult day for Virgin Racing saw Jerome d'Ambrosio stationary in the garage for a large chunk of the day following his stoppage earlier in the morning. The Belgian rookie was however, able to join his competitors with but 90 minutes left and set a best time of 1m26.501s on his way to 50 laps and tenth place.

Michael Schumacher, Mercdes
Michael Schumacher, Mercdes

Michael Schumacher enjoyed a productive day for Mercedes GP after covering 114 laps yet caused the final red flag of the day when he stopped at turn 10 with 20 minutes to go.

It was nevertheless a productive day for the German as the team continue to garner more speed from the MGP-02, which has failed to be quick out of the box.

Team Lotus endured a frustrating final day after Jarno Trulli crashed into the tyre barrier at Turn 9 after just 78 minutes and heavily damaged the front of the car.

The team were unable to repair the T128 as they were short on necessary spares again and packed up early.

With the cancellation of the meeting in Bahrain, the new season will now begin with the Australian Grand Prix on 27th March.

The final pre-season test which was due to be held at the Sakhair circuit in Bahrain will now be run at Barcelona between 8th-11th March instead.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa , Pastor Maldonado , Jérôme d'Ambrosio , Adrian Sutil , Sébastien Buemi , Sergio Perez
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Team Lotus , Sauber , McLaren , Force India , Toro Rosso , Williams , Virgin Racing
Tags barcelona, ferrari, massa