Ferrari's Felipe Massa
endured a tough start to F1 2011 pre-season testing on Thursday.
Massa, who was making his debut at the wheel of the new Ferrari
F150, after team-mate Fernando Alonso
had driven in it on days one and two at Valencia, was forced to sit out a large part of the day after he suffered an oil leak on his very first run.
“It was a silly thing really,” explained Ferrari
technical director Aldo Costa to the Scuderia's official website. “A pipe came undone and the oil that escaped ended up on the exhausts and tyres.
"That led to the spin and the small fire which caused the damage that led to a long stop in the garage. It was a shame, as until this point, everything had gone smoothly.”
Massa was subsequently confined to the garage until 14.30 hours local time and although he then ran pretty much non-stop until the session ended at 17.00, finishing the day with 80 laps on the board, he was still pretty miffed.
“We had a problem right at the start of the morning, when I was out on very old tyres,” Massa added.
“It was not nice having to stop pretty much before I'd started the real work, but then, it was a relief to find out it was nothing that serious. Unfortunately though, I lost a lot of time and, in the afternoon I then tried to make up for it and get a feeling for the new car.”
Despite his frustration though, encouragingly, after his problems last year with the Bridgestone tyres, he did report he was 'pleased' with how the new Pirellis behaved.
“I think that the fact there is a definite level of degradation is a positive thing in terms of the spectacle,” he continued. “It's a shame I wasn't able to do more laps, but the feeling I had was similar to the one from Abu Dhabi, even if that was at the wheel of a very different car.
“In my opinion, there is not that much that needs changing and I think Pirelli is working in the right direction.
"We did not try the hardest tyre here, because this track is not best suited to them: when we have done that, then it will be possible to give a more complete evaluation of them.”
To view times the combined times from this week's three-day test at Valencia, CLICK HERE