Brazilian Felipe Massa has done his chances of a Formula One drive with the Sauber team no harm after a three-day test at Mugello in Italy, where he impressed the Swiss outfit.
Massa was fastest on two of the three days at Mugello and he is believed to be one of the favourites to replace Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who will leave Sauber for McLaren at the end of this season.
"In his first Mugello test prior to Indianapolis, Massa showed us that he has got the speed," said Sauber technical director Willy Rampf. "Now we wanted to find out whether he is able to drive consistently and how he works with the car.
"His lap times were consistent and he is very fit for his age. He also improved in the information he gave to the engineers, although he is still learning the car."
20-year old Massa, European F3000 champion, admitted that he found the physical rigours of driving a Formula One car difficult to begin with.
"I ache all over," said Massa after the tests. "But the physio took care of my muscles and got me back in good shape."