Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Massa fastest on first day of Pirelli tyre test

2011 F1 testing

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010
Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Felipe Massa was the fastest driver in testing at Abu Dhabi as the F1 teams tried out Pirelli’s tyres for the first time.

He lapped within two seconds of the fastest time in the young drivers’ test set by Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel was back at the wheel just five days after winning the world championship at the Yas Marina track. He was second-fastest for Red Bull.

With Gary Paffett third quickest for McLaren the early signs are a change of tyre supplier has done little to alter the balance of power between the teams.

Force India suffered a setback when Adrian Sutil stopped with an exahaust problem during the session. Test driver Paul di Resta took over after the car was repaired.

Robert Kubica also had a technical problem in his Renault, limiting him to just 39 laps.

Driver Car Time
1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’40.170s
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’40.500s
3 Gary Paffett McLaren 1’40.874s
4 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1’40.950s
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1’41.032s
6 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1’41.425s
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1’41.615s
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.778s
9 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1’42.019s
10 Adrian Sutil Force India 1’42.859s
11 Timo Glock Virgin 1’44.124s
12 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1’44.686s
13 Pastor Maldonado HRT 1’45.728s

2011 F1 testing

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40 comments on “Massa fastest on first day of Pirelli tyre test”

    1. I think all the drivers will be adjusting how they drive the car and use the tyres altogether, to an extent. Think about how the only things touching the ground are the 4 tyres.

      Good to see Felipe at the top. A bit of evidence that the 2010 Bridgestones didn’t suit him.

    1. Haha! :P I’m not getting carried away. The track will be quicker with all the running that’s happened there recently, Mclaren only have Gary in the car, I have no idea about fuel loads, the tyres will likely still be very hard next year for the fuel loads and kers coming back and they’re going to evolve so I’ll wait until after qualifying at Bahrain to declare whether I approve of the new tyres or not ;)

      I will admit it’s always nice to see “Massa fastest” though!

    2. You can’t read anything into this. The cars they will be racing next season are still being developed and will be through out the season. So this means nothing.

  1. Massa also beat his Q3 time from last weekend!

    Even though that’s probably more to do with the mix up in the final seconds of Q3, its probably a nice early Christmas present for Massa as he looks forward to next season.

  2. Don’t forget that this years cars have been upgraded all season long to work with the characteristics of the bridgestone tyres. Pirellis are a totally different and new story for the teams. In my opinion tomorrow Vettel will be at least 1 sec faster from himself from analyzing the data, and understading how the new tyres work. Let’s see….

  3. Keith – more than the times, I think what all fanatics will be looking for is the length of stints done by drivers. How much was the longest stint done today? And did the times become slower at the end of the stint due to tyre wear or faster as the fuel burnt off.

    I hope there is a detailed analysis of this session like the pre-season testing of 2010 or of the practice sessions this year.

  4. Rosberg said the degradation was quite a bit worse than the Bridgestones, so yes Pirelli are doing their best not to have people run 70 laps on the super softs. Also, Vettel had one right-rear tyre fail on him, so if that is indicative of wear-rate, then we’re in for an explosive next season (explosive, get it? :p ).

    1. I must admit I thought this looked like a Räikkönen picture there. Well, on the “image show” of the article, Massa had his usual helmet on. Maybe just a spare helmet in some generic Ferrari colours?

  5. Vettel’s still got a 5 on his car in those pics. Can’t he use the number 1 until next year?
    You’d think he’d want the 1 on his car – and the 2 on Webber’s – at the earliest opportunity…

    Those black and yellow Pirellis look good on the Renault, don’t they?

    1. Exactly, he will be only crowned champion officially at the FIA prize giving ceremony and the number 1 will be on the car for the new season (starting with testing)

  6. On the fact that it looks like the balance of power has been maintained, it’s what you’d expect no? The cars are the ones that raced in Abu Dhabi. They’ll all treat the tyres in the same way, it’s the new cars which might show differances.

  7. Have they said anything about compounds? I think I remember hearing that they are going to continue the Bridgestone model of four dry compounds, one intermediate, and one extreme wet tire.

    Do we know how hard or soft these tires are in comparison to others they are planning? And can we please get a better indication of a tire being the option or the prime than that almost invisible green stripe?

  8. Kubica is just 0.8 secs behind having done his best on lap 23 while the top 4 did their bests after lap 55.

    Seems like there could have been much more from the Renault if not for the problem :)

  9. Rosberg doubts the new Pirelli tyres will do anything to ease the difficulties Mercedes suffered with front-tyre grip on the 2010.It will be interesting to see what Schumacher say today after his test.

  10. Much strong when Massa did it on Pirelli for the first time. We should remember that Ferrari always become worse if there are changed rules.
    But this time,we’ll sure look at bright 2011 season for Ferrari.
    First team which is suitable on Pirelli,definitely wins the 2011 title. The Maranellos’ is ahead.

  11. Hes still wearing his florescent yellow helmet in the picture above. I hope he doesnt, his is one of the better ones on the grid, alongside Webbers, and Buttons old design.

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