Massa fastest in Jerez

By on Thursday, February 10, 2011

[AUTOSPORT.COM] Felipe Massa's Ferrari topped the opening day of this week's pre-season test at Jerez.

The Brazilian set Thursday's best time on the seventh lap of his first run of the day. That came exactly halfway through a stint, which is a positive sign for the Ferrari's pace on both a fuel load and tyre front.

Ferrari undetook just one more long run in the afternoon, with Massa completing 16 laps mostly in the 1m23-24s. He was also back in the 1m22s a few more times on shorter runs but at no stage did he lap within 1.5 seconds of his best.

Sergio Perez set the second-fastest time of the day. That lap came on the first flying lap of an eight-lap stint, during which his pace dropped away drastically through the 1m25s to 1m27s before he pitted. The Sauber did not run for more than eight laps at any time during the day.

Perez had earlier caused the first red flag of the day when he stopped at the exit of Curva Jorge Martinez - the second of the left-handers after the Dry Sack hairpin.

Mark Webber's best time may only have been good enough for third overall, but it was set on the first of a six-lap run. The Red Bull RB7 once again showed impressive consistency of pace over several longer runs - Webber had two more stints of longer than a dozen laps and was a fixture in the 1m23s throughout.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth-fastest for Toro Rosso, lapping regularly in the 1m23s during mid-length stints and dipping down to a 1m21.7s for his best lap.

McLaren stuck mainly to short runs for the first day out of its new car, which ended up fifth. During his longest run, of 11 laps, Lewis Hamilton's lap times dropped from 1m23s into the 1m24s. His best time of the day, a 1m21.914s, was set on a single-lap run.

Jaime Alguersuari took over the Toro Rosso driving duties from Ricciardo for the afternoon and finished up sixth. He stuck mainly to five-lap bursts, his times ranging from consistent 1m22s up to one run entirely in the 1m27s.

It was a careful start for Force India's first run out with its 2011 car, but at the end of the day Adrian Sutil did 11 consecutive laps, circulating mainly in the 1m24s. He also did the best of his 28 laps early in that stint, putting him seventh at the end of the day.

After a quick stint to test the water, Renault's Vitaly Petrov spent the majority of his morning doing back-to-back installation laps. He settled into the 1m24s on his longest run of eight laps, and set his best time on the first of a five-lap run. He also caused a red flag by spinning into the gravel at Turn 1 late in the afternoon.

It was another day of testing that Mercedes has completed without yet showing any signs of a frontrunning pace. Nico Rosberg's times slipped from 1m24s to 1m26s on his longest run of the day, 17 laps - though he did set his best time of the day - a 1m23.963s - on the third lap of that stint, while carrying a significant fuel load.

The Mercedes was also the cause of one of the day's red flags as Rosberg stopped out on track mid-way through the day.

Lotus's best long run was of a dozen laps, peaking at a 1m24.792s and dropping into consistent 1m26s. Jarno Trulli was able to dip lower into the 1m24s on shorter runs later in the day.

Timo Glock did 42 laps today in the Virgin MVR-02, spending most of his day in the 1m25s - on shorter runs earlier on, and then during an eight lap stint to the session's close.

Pastor Maldonado completed just 14 laps for Williams, following a problem with the car's rear wing actuator in the morning. The team hoped to return to the track for more running in the afternoon but in the end managed just a couple of short stints.

Pos  Driver             Car                   Time       Gap
 1.  Felipe Massa       Ferrari               1m20.709s
 2.  Sergio Perez       Sauber-Ferrari        1m21.483s  + 0.774s
 3.  Mark Webber        Red Bull-Renault      1m21.522s  + 0.813s
 4.  Daniel Ricciardo   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m21.755s  + 1.046s
 5.  Lewis Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      1m21.914s  + 1.205s
 6.  Jaime Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m22.689s  + 1.980s
 7.  Adrian Sutil       Force India-Mercedes  1m23.472s  + 2.763s
 8.  Vitaly Petrov      Renault               1m23.504s  + 2.795s
 9.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m23.963s  + 3.254s
10.  Jarno Trulli       Lotus-Renault         1m24.458s  + 3.749s
11.  Timo Glock         Virgin-Cosworth       1m25.086s  + 4.377s
12.  Pastor Maldonado   Williams-Cosworth     1m34.968s  + 14.259s

All timing unofficial

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