Massa may keep Sepang engine in Bahrain

Ferrari have hinted that they may not replace Felipe Massa's engine for this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, even though the Brazilian failed to finish in Malaysia

Massa may keep Sepang engine in Bahrain

Massa spun out of the Sepang race after making a mistake while running second, and his retirement leaves the way open for Ferrari to fit a new unit to his car this weekend.

However, mindful of the fact that the Malaysia power unit did not complete a full race cycle, the team are considering using it for a second weekend.

Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa said: "We will continue to keep a close eye on reliability, especially on the engine side.

"On this front, at the moment, we will probably run Massa with the same engine he used in Malaysia, even though we could change it, as he failed to finish that race."

Ferrari are due to run some new aerodynamic parts on their F2008 at Sakhir, following a successful straight line test at Vairano since Malaysia.

"The plan for this year is that we should have continuous updates throughout the season," continued Costa. "We aim to improve the package step by step with changes coming for almost every race and in Bahrain we will run some new aero parts."

Although Ferrari are one of only two teams to have tested at Bahrain this year, Costa does not believe that the run will hand his team much of a benefit when it comes to overall performance this weekend.

"In a sport as competitive as Formula One, any advantage we might have from our winter trip to the Gulf will probably have evaporated by the end of Friday's free practice, by which time the other teams will be on the pace, having been here in past years," said Costa.

"It's not even as though the Scuderia can derive any tyre advantage as the winter test was all conducted on just one hard type of Bridgestone.

"The real advantage of the Sakhir winter test is that, although temperatures back at the start of the year were about ten degrees Celsius cooler than one can expect this weekend, the venue did offer very stable conditions, with consistent ambient and track temperatures and this stability is always a highly prized commodity when developing a new car."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa
Author Jonathan Noble
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