Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Massa fastest on first day of Pirelli tyre test

2011 F1 testing

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010
Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Felipe Massa was the fastest driver in testing at Abu Dhabi as the F1 teams tried out Pirelli’s tyres for the first time.

He lapped within two seconds of the fastest time in the young drivers’ test set by Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel was back at the wheel just five days after winning the world championship at the Yas Marina track. He was second-fastest for Red Bull.

With Gary Paffett third quickest for McLaren the early signs are a change of tyre supplier has done little to alter the balance of power between the teams.

Force India suffered a setback when Adrian Sutil stopped with an exahaust problem during the session. Test driver Paul di Resta took over after the car was repaired.

Robert Kubica also had a technical problem in his Renault, limiting him to just 39 laps.

1Felipe MassaFerrari1’40.170s
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull1’40.500s
3Gary PaffettMcLaren1’40.874s
4Kamui KobayashiSauber1’40.950s
5Robert KubicaRenault1’41.032s
6Rubens BarrichelloWilliams1’41.425s
7Paul di RestaForce India1’41.615s
8Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.778s
9Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso1’42.019s
10Adrian SutilForce India1’42.859s
11Timo GlockVirgin1’44.124s
12Heikki KovalainenLotus1’44.686s
13Pastor MaldonadoHRT1’45.728s

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Massa fastest on first day of Pirelli tyre test”

  1. wow 2 seconds, amazing how much difference a tire makes! I know they are still developping the tyres but still.

    1. Treat this test as a practice session, and you will see that the times are very much in the same ballpark. Actually a little bit faster.

    2. I think all the drivers will be adjusting how they drive the car and use the tyres altogether, to an extent. Think about how the only things touching the ground are the 4 tyres.

      Good to see Felipe at the top. A bit of evidence that the 2010 Bridgestones didn’t suit him.

  2. Great! Makes me hope for next year! Hopefully Massa’s problems will be resolved with Pirellis.

    1. Yes! I hope this is a sign that Massa will come to terms with next year’s tires much better and be on top form like he was in 2008!

      1. Massa topped some pre-season sessions too. Sadly this means nothing for Massa’s hopes next year.

  3. i thought they were going for performance and not durability? That should show at this stage.. Obviously it’s going to be business as usual next year.

    1. No they specifically stated that in their first year they’d have to play it conservative. Looking fowards they said they’d go for more exciting tyres to spice up the racing.

  4. they didnt push so much today, teams wanted to know more about tires not there performence

  5. Don’t let Steph see this headline! It will give her false hope! :P

    1. Haha! :P I’m not getting carried away. The track will be quicker with all the running that’s happened there recently, Mclaren only have Gary in the car, I have no idea about fuel loads, the tyres will likely still be very hard next year for the fuel loads and kers coming back and they’re going to evolve so I’ll wait until after qualifying at Bahrain to declare whether I approve of the new tyres or not ;)

      I will admit it’s always nice to see “Massa fastest” though!

      1. “I will admit it’s always nice to see “Massa fastest” though!”

        Oh yes, it was a while ago now!

        1. The last time Massa was the fastest guy was Q1 in Monza! So yes it has been a while.

    2. You can’t read anything into this. The cars they will be racing next season are still being developed and will be through out the season. So this means nothing.

  6. Massa also beat his Q3 time from last weekend!

    Even though that’s probably more to do with the mix up in the final seconds of Q3, its probably a nice early Christmas present for Massa as he looks forward to next season.

  7. Don’t forget that this years cars have been upgraded all season long to work with the characteristics of the bridgestone tyres. Pirellis are a totally different and new story for the teams. In my opinion tomorrow Vettel will be at least 1 sec faster from himself from analyzing the data, and understading how the new tyres work. Let’s see….

  8. In the end, it will turnout that Pirelli has done absolutely nothing to improve the show, in fact worsened it.

    1. it’s still too early to make that assumption
      and the car itself is still 2010 specs

    2. Uh, what? How do you some to that conclusion? I thought Pirelli were contracted to be making the same tyres as Bridgestone were until 2013.

      1. yes but they’re trying to make better racing tyres that will degrade faster.
        hopefully there’s also a bigger difference between the option and prime tyres.

  9. Keith – more than the times, I think what all fanatics will be looking for is the length of stints done by drivers. How much was the longest stint done today? And did the times become slower at the end of the stint due to tyre wear or faster as the fuel burnt off.

    I hope there is a detailed analysis of this session like the pre-season testing of 2010 or of the practice sessions this year.

  10. When I read the headline, the first thing I thought of was, “Alonso must not have been running today…”

    Just sayin’.

    1. Ouch… That’s cutting.

  11. Rosberg said the degradation was quite a bit worse than the Bridgestones, so yes Pirelli are doing their best not to have people run 70 laps on the super softs. Also, Vettel had one right-rear tyre fail on him, so if that is indicative of wear-rate, then we’re in for an explosive next season (explosive, get it? :p ).

  12. On http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/248212/massa-i-felt-at-ease-right-from-the-start/ Massa is sporting a red helmet at one point, does anyone know why or did he just fancy a change? Thank you for any help! I hope he’s not changing his design.

    1. I must admit I thought this looked like a Räikkönen picture there. Well, on the “image show” of the article, Massa had his usual helmet on. Maybe just a spare helmet in some generic Ferrari colours?

      1. Alonso took his old one as part of the spoils of victory ;)

    2. Rosberg and Vettel look like they were wearing different helmets as well. Maybe they were earning a little on the side from a sponsored helmet?

      1. When doesn’t Vettel have a different helmet? :P just kidding. Good spot. :)

  13. Vettel’s still got a 5 on his car in those pics. Can’t he use the number 1 until next year?
    You’d think he’d want the 1 on his car – and the 2 on Webber’s – at the earliest opportunity…

    Those black and yellow Pirellis look good on the Renault, don’t they?

    1. It’s the RB6, that’s the number that must be on the car, entered into the FIA F1 World Championship from last year. It will always have a 5.

    2. Exactly, he will be only crowned champion officially at the FIA prize giving ceremony and the number 1 will be on the car for the new season (starting with testing)

  14. I’m afraid this times mean nothing.

    1. I’m afraid these times are meaningless – statement.
      This is because we don’t know what fuel levels the cars are running at – explanation.

  15. On the fact that it looks like the balance of power has been maintained, it’s what you’d expect no? The cars are the ones that raced in Abu Dhabi. They’ll all treat the tyres in the same way, it’s the new cars which might show differances.

  16. Have they said anything about compounds? I think I remember hearing that they are going to continue the Bridgestone model of four dry compounds, one intermediate, and one extreme wet tire.

    Do we know how hard or soft these tires are in comparison to others they are planning? And can we please get a better indication of a tire being the option or the prime than that almost invisible green stripe?

  17. Kubica is just 0.8 secs behind having done his best on lap 23 while the top 4 did their bests after lap 55.

    Seems like there could have been much more from the Renault if not for the problem :)

  18. Rosberg doubts the new Pirelli tyres will do anything to ease the difficulties Mercedes suffered with front-tyre grip on the 2010.It will be interesting to see what Schumacher say today after his test.

  19. Much strong when Massa did it on Pirelli for the first time. We should remember that Ferrari always become worse if there are changed rules.
    But this time,we’ll sure look at bright 2011 season for Ferrari.
    First team which is suitable on Pirelli,definitely wins the 2011 title. The Maranellos’ is ahead.

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