The Sauber team completed today the roll-out of their new C24 car at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.
Felipe Massa took to the track in the new Petronas-powered machine to complete its first laps at the Spanish circuit. The Brazilian was pleased with the first impression of the C24, which today incorporated a radical looking front wing.
"The fact that the team gave me the chance to do the baptism of our new car shows me that they put a lot of confidence and trust in me, which fills me with pride and makes me very happy," said Massa. "I concentrated on giving as many comments on the car as possible to allow us to improve on the set-up, which we did quite a bit over the day.
"I think the C24 is really reliable, which will be an even more important issue this season. Running nearly 70 laps without major problems gives me an optimistic and positive feeling about the car. I believe we had a good start, although we will only see in Melbourne where we are."
Massa completed a total 64 laps with a best time of 1:12.080.
"The scheduled functionality and system tests such as cooling and electronics checks went well and we were able to get initial impressions of the car balance after the first set-up changes", added technical director Willy Rampf.
"The only problem we experienced was an overheating of the bodywork around the exhausts, but this was solved pretty quickly and we could continue to work according to plan. Overall things went well and Iâ€™m quite happy with the roll-out of the C24."
Massa will continue tomorrow before Jacques Villeneuve takes over to complete the test on Sunday.