Felipe Massa: “Overall, it was a great first day”

Felipe Massa was able to complete 103 laps on the first day of testing - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Felipe Massa felt it was a good first day of pre-season testing as the veteran Brazilian racked up 103 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday, setting the third fastest time of the day.

The Williams Martini Racing driver was pleased that it was a relatively straightforward and trouble-free day at the Spanish circuit, finishing just over three-tenths of a second down on the pace set by Lewis Hamilton.

“Today was a good day,” insisted Massa. “The first day of the test is always one where you hope everything on the car works well and that it’s reliable, and with 103 laps on the board I’d say that wasn’t bad at all.

“In the morning, we made a few set-up changes and checks so we knew that everything on the car was working in the right way. There was some waiting around whilst that was done thoroughly. That said, the lap count racked up in the afternoon after all those initial checks and changes were carried out.”

Massa admitted he enjoyed driving the car on Monday, revealing that the braking points were later than in previous years, while cornering speeds were also increased. The Brazilian now hands over to Lance Stroll on Tuesday.

“It’s early to say where we are whilst we’re still in this learning stage, but I’m really enjoying driving,” said Massa. “There’s much more grip and they go much quicker in the corners. We can brake much later and reach high speeds much quicker.

“Overall, it was a great first day which is really positive for the whole team. We completed more than 100 laps and I really hope we learn new things day by day and prepare ourselves as best as we can for the first race in Australia.”