Massa on Top at Silverstone - Day One

Brazilian Felipe Massa topped the timesheets on the first day of testing at the Silverstone circuit, where Sauber and Renault were in action today.

Massa on Top at Silverstone - Day One

Brazilian Felipe Massa topped the timesheets on the first day of testing at the Silverstone circuit, where Sauber and Renault were in action today.

Sauber driver Massa began the Swiss team's preparations for the United States Grand Prix where, ironically, the rookie could be replaced by German Heinz-Harald Frentzen after he received a penalty in Italy last weekend.

If Massa races at Indianapolis, he would be dropped ten grid positions so team boss Peter Sauber had decided to test Frentzen at Silverstone on Thursday in order to decide if he can fit and be competitive in the car.

Regardless of that, Massa began Sauber's work, oncentrating on trying different aerodynamic configurations and finishing the day on top.

"It feels good to be back in the car again so soon after Monza, and we had a trouble free day which allowed as to gather a lot of data which I hope will be very useful for our programme next week in America," said the young Brazilian driver.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso was second fastest with the first of the Renaults, the test driver completing general set-up work during the first part of the day before beginning damper development work in the afternoon.

Briton Jenson Button drove the second Michelin-shod car, conducting a tyre development programme for Michelin. He also worked on chassis set-ups for the two final flyaway races of the year, posting the slowest time of the day after 64 laps.

"A useful first day at Silverstone," said Renault's technical director Mike Gascoyne at the end of the day. "We hope the drivers will continue in the same vein during the coming two days as the team prepares to leave for Indy."

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. Massa Sauber-Petronas (B) 1:22.421 64 2. Alonso Renault (M) 1:22.790 64 3. Button Renault (M) 1:23.127 66 All Timing Unofficial

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