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Ferrari feeling positive for Bahrain 02 Mar 2010

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F10. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday 28 February 2010. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday 27 February 2010. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F10. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday 28 February 2010. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 26 February 2010.

Ferrari are in a confident mood for the season ahead after the F10 passed its final winter test with flying colours. Drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa both enjoyed top-three placings during last week’s four-day session at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya and reliably completed over 400 laps of the Spanish track.

“We’re very happy with the work done,” Massa told Ferrari’s official website. "We wanted a competitive car and I think we’ve achieved our goal. We‘ve reached a good level of reliability, which is very important. I am very satisfied with the car - when we simulated the qualifying and when we drove with lots of fuel on board.”

The Brazilian covered 229 laps over the two days he spent in the car, and clocked his best time of the week on Sunday, when he went third quickest with a 1m 20.539s. Although he was pleased with his pace at the test, Massa was keen to downplay suggestions the Italian team are the current frontrunners.

“I don’t agree at all with those who say we’re the strongest,” he added. “I think we’re there, together with some other teams. I think that we’re part of the group, who did well in these tests, which is something you could see on the last day of testing, when many simulated qualifying runs. I can’t say that we’re going to Bahrain to win, but I know that we’ll fight for it.”

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is equally determined to keep his cards under the table and wait until Sakhir to see how the 2010 car fares against its rivals.

“We’re satisfied with the work done at these four test sessions,” said Domenicali. “What we could see, and considering all the unknown factors in the testing, I think that we’ve shown that we can be competitive and are part of the top group in terms of pure performance and also on long runs.

“I’m not used to making forecasts, but it’s clear that it will be a very balanced championship, not like last year. Before the tests we thought that there might be four teams able to fight for the title, but from what we’ve seen so far, there might be even more. We know that we’re fighting against very strong teams, who have worked very hard during the winter and who want to win. We’re ready for the challenge ahead!”