Silverstone, day 1: Massa on top

Not all the Formula 1 teams are completing their pre-US GP preparations at Barcelona this week and Sauber and Renault have chosen Silverstone as the venue for their penultimate test of the season

Silverstone, day 1: Massa on top

Despite facing the prospect of losing his place at Sauber this week, Felipe Massa set the pace at the Northamptonshire track. The team was experimenting with different aerodynamic configurations and with the car running reliably Massa was able to clock up 82 laps, setting a best time of 1m22.421s.

"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 program next week in America," said Massa, who will be replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen if the German is comfortable in the car when he tests on Thursday. (For separate story, click here.)

Renault had two cars on hand for Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso and it worked on two separate programmes; one tyre testing for Michelin (Button), the other set-up work for Indy (Alonso). Alonso was the quicker of the two, lapping three tenths slower than Massa, and the team was happy with he way things went.

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


Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas B 1m22.421s 82
Fernando Alonso Renault M 1m22.790s 65
Jenson Button Renault M 1m23.127s 69

M = Michelin
B = Bridgestone

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