Massa Encouraged by Strong Start

Brazilian Felipe Massa was encouraged after a strong start to his 2005 season in Friday's practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Massa Encouraged by Strong Start

Brazilian Felipe Massa was encouraged after a strong start to his 2005 season in Friday's practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

"I'm happy with the way things went today," said Massa, whose Sauber team debuted their new Michelin tyres in an official session today after having switched from Bridgestone rubber.

"The car was quick, consistent and stable, and for our first proper run against everyone else it was good. I did a long run and the performance was reasonably consistent, so everything is working right and it's a good start to the new season."

The young Brazilian driver wound up sixth quickest today, outpacing his World Champion teammate Jacques Villeneuve by over a second. Villeneuve, in his first Grand Prix with the Swiss squad, finished only 16th.

"The new rules on engine life mean that you don't get much time for set-up work on the car, but the long run I did seemed okay," said the Canadian. "The first lap on the tyre seems to be the problem, for me at least, and we need to do some more work on that.

"This morning it also felt as if I had a long brake pedal, but really we just need to do a small adjustment to suit me."

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