Massa quickest again at Valencia

Felipe Massa helped Ferrari maintain its position as the team to beat on the second day of pre-season Formula 1 testing at Valencia in Spain on Tuesday

Massa quickest again at Valencia

The Brazilian, who had been quickest on the opening day of action on Monday, spent most of the day focusing on long runs - but had put in a quick time early in the morning running that no one else was able to beat.

His best effort of 1m11.722s seconds was set in the first hour of running, when BMW Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi also put in his personal best of 1m12.056s to set the second best time.

"It was definitely a good day," said Kobayashi. "We had no problems with the car and covered a lot of mileage. The car felt good. I enjoyed driving a lot and also working with the team.

"It was a difficult winter for everyone but they seem to have done a good job; I want to thank them for that. Now it is important to keep working hard for the remaining test opportunities."

With the times of the top two staying static, it was left to Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren to chip away and make improvements over the course of the day during his first outing in the new MP4-25.

Hamilton was quickly up to speed and, although he too focused on some long runs, he managed to put in a best time of one minute 12.256s in the early afternoon to end the day third overall on the timesheets.

Renault's Robert Kubica was another driver who spent the day working on long run efforts - completing a total of 119 laps over the course of the day before some lower fuel laps right near the end.

The Pole delivered his best effort of 1m12.426s in the final 30 minutes - but he brought the day to an early finish when he stopped on the start-finish straight with just five minutes of the session remaining. Remarkably, it was only the second red flag of testing so far.

"After checking the systems on the car yesterday, we spent today trying to understand the car a bit more, especially to see how the balance reacted to some set-up changes," Kubica said.

"It's quite different to what I have been used to, so it was important to get a good feel for how the car behaves. We did one very long run, which went pretty well, and there have been no problems, which is a good sign for our reliability."

Behind Kubica, Nico Rosberg had the whole day to himself in the Mercedes GP W01, setting a best lap of 1m12.899s, just ahead of Rubens Barrichello in the Williams - whose best effort was 1m13.377s.

The Mercedes GP driver, who will hand the car over the team-mate Michael Schumacher tomorrow, was pleased with his day's work.

"I'm very pleased with our first full day of testing and we were really able to get into the programme and achieve some good work today," Rosberg said. "We successfully completed a race distance on the car's second day of running and I'm quite happy with how the car felt on the longer runs with heavy fuel.

"It felt like the same car, just a little bit slower, but the balance was good. We've still got some work to do on my position in the car as I dropped down by 1.5cm during the day which explains why the visibility got a little difficult towards the end but that's something we can fix before the next test.

"Overall it's been a positive start to our pre-season testing and I'm enjoying working with the team and feeling very comfortable here."
Sebastien Buemi may have ended the day at the bottom of the timesheets, but it was a more productive outing for him after the gearbox problems he suffered on Monday.

Scuderia Toro Rosso was determined that its new car would be ready for the first test, so team personnel could get a grips on the first car it has designed and manufactured for several years. Buemi completed a total of 107 laps, and set his best near the end with a 1m13.823s.

The final day of the test is likely to draw big interest, with three world champions taking to the track - Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:11.722 124 2. Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari (B) 1:12.056 96 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:12.256 108 4. Kubica Renault (B) 1:12.426 119 5. Rosberg Mercedes GP (B) 1:12.899 119 6. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:13.377 102 7. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:13.823 107 All Timing Unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa
Author Jonathan Noble
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