Sauber to Change Massa's Engine

Sauber's Felipe Massa will be hit with a penalty at the San Marino Grand Prix after his team said they will need to change his engine

Sauber to Change Massa's Engine

"Unfortunately we need to change the engine in Felipe's car because it was running hot during the race in Bahrain and has shown signs of losing its edge," said team boss Peter Sauber.

"This is greatly disappointing, but on the other hand I am happy that Jacques was able to benefit from the improvements in the car."

"It is going to be very tough starting far back here of all places, and even more so because I know we are competitive," explained Massa. "But I remain very positive because of the progress we have made."

Despite that, Massa and teammate Jacques Villeneuve were left confident that their Swiss team have made a step forward in getting to grips with their C24 after ending opening practice just outside the top ten.

Massa was 11th quickest overall, less than two tenths of a second ahead of teammate Villeneuve in 12th, as both drivers expressed how encouraged they were with new aerodynamic developments fitted to the car.

In fact, Massa compared the progress the team have made this weekend with the dramatic improvement they experienced at Silverstone last year when they introduced an aerodynamic revamp.

"I'm very, very happy with the car," he said. "All the work the people back at the factory have done on the new aero package has worked out the way we hoped it would, and I think it is as big an improvement as the package we had at Silverstone on the C23 last year.

"The car was really good on my long runs, very fast and consistent. And on new tyres I had traffic so I know I can go quicker."

Villeneuve, who has had difficulties getting to grips with the C24 so far this season, was equally upbeat about how his first day of practice had gone.

"This weekend has started better for me than others this year, which is good," he said. "The car seemed okay on new tyres, and now we need to make sure we can race it like this. It seems to be an improvement, which is encouraging."

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