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Silverstone day one - Massa sets the pace for Ferrari 25 Jun 2008

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008 Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day One, Tuesday 24 June 2008. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Toyota Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day One, Tuesday 24 June 2008. Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA108.
Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day One, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1 VJM01 with guests.
Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day One, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day One, Tuesday 24 June 2008.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was the quickest man at Silverstone on Tuesday, as this week’s three-day test got underway. Massa clocked a best lap of 1m 20.188s around the British circuit, to finish just under three-tenths of a second ahead of McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen.

Massa was charged with development of the Italian team’s latest aerodynamic and mechanic solutions, alongside some preliminary set-up work for the forthcoming British Grand Prix. With largely fine and dry conditions the Brazilian covered 71 laps. He will continue in the F2008 on Wednesday.

Kovalainen, meanwhile, completed 90 laps in McLaren’s MP4-23. The Finn carried out an initial evaluation of new aero parts, as well as testing a new fuel and lubricant formulation. He will be in action on Wednesday before handing over the car to team mate Lewis Hamilton on Thursday.

Third fastest was Robert Kubica for BMW Sauber. Kubica covered 82 laps, while testing different set-up options for the British race and carrying out aerodynamic work. Just under four-tenths slower than the Pole was Toyota’s third driver Kamui Kobayashi, who ran 81 laps in the TF108.

“After our great result at the weekend we have another busy week of testing here this week,” explained Toyota's test team manager Gerd Pfeiffer. “Kamui began the programme with work on aerodynamics and set-up. As this was the first time he has ever driven at Silverstone he took a couple of runs getting used to the track in the morning. From then on he worked well, completing many laps and getting through everything we had planned.”

Williams’ Nico Rosberg finished the day fifth, as he covered 88 laps in the FW30, while Red Bull’s Mark Webber took up the sixth slot. Webber worked on several aero and mechanical development programmes for the team. He completed 94 laps in the RB4 and will continue to test on Wednesday.

After scoring his first points at Magny-Cours, Nelson Piquet was back in action for Renault. Piquet ended the day seventh as he carried out some basic set-up work in the R28 and completed 68 laps.

“We go quite a lot of work done today, and although we had a few difficulties during the day, we were able to cover a lot of the stuff that we needed to,” said Christian Silk, Renault's chief test engineer. “We concentrated on basic pre-Grand Prix set-up work, as well as some aerodynamic testing, and started some tyre evaluation, which we will continue in the coming days.”

Eighth place was taken up by Jenson Button for Honda. Button covered 91 laps as he worked through a series of aerodynamic evaluations in the RA108. He finished almost two-tenths ahead of Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi in ninth.

“A very useful and busy day of testing, with Tonio completing 108 laps in total,” explained Force India’s chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne. “We had the first stage of our major aero update, running a new front wing, bodywork and diffuser, which all ran successfully and performed exactly as predicted. Tonio also tested a new fuel system and went on to do set up work for the Grand Prix.”

Completing Tuesday’s line-up was Sebastian Vettel for Toro Rosso. Vettel had only managed to complete 10 laps when a technical problem on the STR3 relegated him to the sidelines for the rest of the day. The Italian team are expecting the car to be fixed in time for Wednesday’s running, but with some predictions for rain, Vettel may struggle to increase his mileage.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Silverstone:
1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:20.188
2. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 1:20.477
3. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:20.995
4. Kamui Kobayashi, Toyota, 1:21.335
5. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:21.410
6. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:21.565
7. Nelson Piquet, Renault, 1:21.797
8. Jenson Button, Honda, 1:22.081
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:22.250
10. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:23.853