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Jerez day one - Massa finishes first 14 Dec 2005

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2005. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 13-16 December 2005. World ©  Capilitan/Sutton

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was the fastest of six runners at Jerez on Tuesday as the final Formula One test of 2005 got underway. Massa, the only driver running a V10 engine, ended the session a second up on Toyota’s Ricardo Zonta.

With the Spanish circuit experiencing the coldest weather so far in winter testing, it was just two degrees Celsius at the 9am start time and consequently it was a while before temperatures rose enough for the teams to conduct meaningful work.

When things did get underway, Massa was at the wheel of an F2005 fitted with a regulated power version of Ferrari’s 2005 engine. He worked on a Bridgestone tyre development programme, covering a total of 92 laps.

Fellow Brazilian Zonta was joined at Toyota by young Frenchman Franck Perera, a member of Toyota's Young Driver Programme, both men in the new TF106. It was Perera’s second full test with the Japanese team after conducting six of their 50-kilometre pre-race shakedowns between June and October 2005.

"We concentrated mainly on looking at the effect of different weight distributions on the way that the car uses the Bridgestone tyres,” explained Zonta. “We also did some work with compounds. I must say I am getting used to the V8 car now, it is responsive, and we established a good neutral set-up. We also changed many things and learned a lot, with no technical problems all day."

Perera’s aim at Jerez this week is to gain more mileage and further his working relationship with Toyota, as well as hopefully achieving the 300 kilometres of testing necessary to qualify for a Formula One Super Licence. Things did not go quite to plan when he crashed in the morning, but the damage was minor and he went on to run 60 laps.

"I made a small mistake in Turn 10 this morning,” he reported. “I took a little bit too much kerb, lost the back end and hit the tyre barrier very lightly. That cost us a couple of hours while the car was brought back and repaired. Then, at the very end, I lost control in Turn 5 and had a quick spin but there was no damage. We had made quite a big modification to the car so maybe that was the reason. Apart from that it was a good day.”

DTM champion Gary Paffett was third fastest for McLaren, despite an early spin. The British driver outpaced regular tester Pedro de la Rosa as the pair covered a total of 152 laps. Both were at the wheel of the V8-powered MP4-20B, carrying out engine and tyre evaluations.

Completing the Tuesday line-up was the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld, who finished fifth in the times. The team concentrated on Michelin tyre work and further engine testing with BMW’s 2006-spec V8.

Testing continues at Jerez on Wednesday when Renault, Williams and Honda will also be back on track, with Williams giving Indian Narain Karthikeyan another test outing following his successful debut for the team last week.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:19.074
2. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:20.061
3. Gary Paffett, McLaren (Michelin), 1:20.224
4. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:20.317
5. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:20.774
6. Franck Perera, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:21.337