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Massa quickest on Day 2

NEWS STORY
02/02/2010

Felipe Massa continues to set the pre-season testing pace, the Brazilian being the only driver to break the 1:11s barrier at Valencia today.

On the second day of testing at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, where weather conditions remained dry and sunny, Massa continued with development work on the new car, concentrating mainly on finding the best set up under various conditions and on analysing tyre behaviour.

Having set the pace on Monday, the Brazilian led the way again today, and while the Maranello outfit insists that not too much should be read into the times, the reliability of the F10 - having completed 226 laps in total, the most laps on both days - is impressive.

"I'm really happy because it has been quite a while I've driven so many kilometres at once," said the Brazilian at the end of the day's programme. "For me it's very positive, I feel fine from a physical point of view, but especially the car has a very good start. We're satisfied by the work done up to now.

"We've been working on the set up and in the afternoon we started to compare the tyres under different conditions," he continued. "With lots of petrol on board the car behaves differently, but we didn't experience any surprises. As far as the tyres are concerned we need to understand well how they work on other and harder tracks than this here, but especially how they behave with higher temperatures. Where we're standing compared to the others? That's impossible to say, it's really too early!"

With Fernando Alonso making his much anticipated Ferrari debut tomorrow, Massa will fly back to Sao Paulo tonight before returning early next week to resume testing at Jerez de la Frontera.

While it might be worryingly devoid of sponsorship logos, the Sauber continues to show good form, with Kamui Kobayashi maintaining the pace shown by Pedro de la Rosa on Monday. The Japanese driver, who made a great impression during his two Grand Prix appearances in 2009, completed 96 laps on his way to posting the second best time of the day just 0.334s off Massa's pace.

"It was definitely a good day," he said. "We had no problems with the car and covered a lot of mileage. The car felt good. I enjoyed driving a lot and also working with the team. It was a difficult winter for everyone but they seem to have done a good job; I want to thank them for that. Now it is important to keep working hard for the remaining test opportunities."

"It was another positive day of testing for us," added technical director Willy Rampf. "First of all Kamui familiarised himself with the car and the track. We then continued with some basic set-up work and ran the car on different fuel levels. The latter is very important for us in order to be able to compare the results from the track with our results from track simulation. As yesterday, the car was reliable, which enabled us to complete our programme as scheduled."

Third quickest was Lewis Hamilton, getting his first taste of the new McLaren MP4-25. The 2008 championship winner completed 108 laps on his way to posting a best time 0.534s off Massa's benchmark as the Woking team continued with the programme started by Gary Paffett yesterday, focusing on car set-up and understanding the difference in balance caused by the heavier fuel-loads and narrower 2010-spec front tyres.

At the end of the session, Hamilton, declared himself happy with the car's performance and reliability, before handing over to new teammate Jenson Button, who wraps up the test here tomorrow.

Robert Kubica continued to add mileage to the R30 for Renault, the Pole finishing the day fourth quickest, just 0.7s off the pace, and clocking up a total of 119 laps by the end of the day.

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