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Massa tops timesheets on final day (with pictures)

NEWS STORY
21/02/2011

Ferrari's Felipe Massa topped the timesheets on the final day of testing at Barcelona, posting the fastest time of the entire four-day test.

After yesterday's mixed conditions, today was far more settled, with bright sunshine for much of the day only giving way to cloudy skies late in the afternoon.

Massa worked mainly on a comparison of the various types of tyre Pirelli brought here, running with different fuel loads and with different car set-ups. The Brazilian covered a total of 121 laps, his quickest time of 1.22.625 - posted at the very end of the session - being over half-a-second quicker than anything else seen here this week.

"The outcome of testing up to the end of today has been positive," Massa told reporters. "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.

"Where are we compared to the others? I don't know," he continued, "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."

After spending yesterday on race simulation work, it was back to business as usual for Red Bull today, with Mark Webber completing 69 laps as the team evaluated development components on the RB07.

"Today we got through quite a lot of work in evaluating some development components on the suspension, brakes and aero package," explained head of race engineering, Ian Morgan. "We got through the whole programme without any difficulties so, all in all, a useful day's work."

Summing up the Barcelona test, he added: "We set out a pretty ambitious schedule for this test and I'm pleased to say that we managed to get through almost all of it. Obviously, the weather yesterday hampered us a little but even then we got some wet weather running in, which helps us understand the tyres a bit better. Overall, I think we are quite pleased with the progress we've made here."

"Not too bad today," said Webber. "We had a few niggles here and there but we did well and that's been the case over the whole weekend. We had a very productive test, no question about it. We have a whole raft of data to go through, so we'll see where the next test is and get ready for that."

Sebastien Buemi - who ended the day third fastest - carried out a programme similar to the one followed with Jaime Alguersuari, a mix of short and long runs using all the types of Pirelli tyre with the exception of the medium. In addition, the Swiss driver also worked on car set-up work and brakes.

"This has definitely been a productive four days for us with a good number of laps completed," said Giorgio Ascanelli. "We addressed all the technical issues that came to our attention at the previous test in Jerez, although as you move forward and make progress, you always discover new problems. But 90 trouble-free laps today means that this is a positive end to our time in Barcelona."

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