Massa upbeat after Raikkonen meeting
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, December 7th 2006, 19:05 GMT|
Felipe Massa has said he is already encouraged about his new working relationship with Kimi Raikkonen, after a first proper sit-down chat with the Finn at Jerez today.
Raikkonen made a surprise visit on the second day of Ferrari's test at Jerez, to get an early opportunity to spend time with his new team and teammate.
Although he is not able to test for the team until January, because he remains under contract to McLaren until December 31, he was able to take part in the morning's technical meeting and had a long conversation with Massa.
Raikkonen, dressed in a black jacket and jeans, then spent time in the Ferrari garage during the test to try and get an understanding of working practices and the set-up that he will encounter next year.
Massa said that he was upbeat about his earlier-than-expected encounter with Raikkonen - and hoped that their cooperation would continue next year to help drive the team forward.
"I talked to him this morning maybe for 15 to 20 minutes," Massa told autosport.com. "He was very open and was talking a lot.
"It is a good way to work, with both drivers working together. If we can fight in a good way, then that is good."
And despite predictions that the rivalry between Massa and Raikkonen could lead to friction next year, the Brazilian is adamant that they will get on just fine.
"We talked about the car, and the test, and some ideas about next year," continued Massa. "He was very open.
"He brings experience to the team, and it is the best way to put Ferrari in a good way. We spoke about how we could develop the car for 2007, which was good."
The apparent cooperation between Massa and Raikkonen comes on the same day that Ferrari chief executive Jean Todt made it clear that the pair would be treated as equals next year.
"Felipe is going to drive for Ferrari, Kimi is going to drive for Ferrari — there never has been a No. 1 or No. 2," Todt said in an interview with the Times.
"Time will tell who has the best chance to compete for Ferrari for the championship."