Felipe Massa: “We seem to be moving forward”

Felipe Massa ended the opening day of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya with the fastest time seen so far this off-season, and was in buoyant mood as he continue to be impressed with his Williams-Mercedes FW37.

The Brazilian set a best time of 1:23.500s during the afternoon, and feels the team have moved forward since last week. He will return to the car on Saturday for his final day of testing before the season begins in Australia next month.

“It was a good day for us and the car behaved well,” revealed Massa. “When we tried to use the new soft tyre we managed to get some quicker laps in.

“The FW37 never showed a sign of an issue and this has been the case since we arrived at the first test in Jerez. We are doing a lot of work and seem to be moving forward.

“I have just one more day in the car before the first race, so Saturday will be important.”

Chief Test and Support Engineer Rod Nelson was happy with how Thursday’s running went, despite the rain showers that affected the morning session. He revealed the team were forced to adjust their plans, but still managed to complete their planned schedule.

“The programme was slightly upset by the rain in the morning, but that just meant we had more work to do in the afternoon,” said Nelson. “We managed to complete the planned schedule though and we have made some positive changes to the chassis, as well as some aero adjustments.

“We are now looking at what we will take to Australia to make sure we are prepared for the first race. It has been a good day, with no reliability issues.”