Felipe Massa was pleased with how his final two days of testing went this week in Barcelona with the Ferrari 150° Italia.
Massa finished testing yesterday second quickest, on a 1 minute 22.092 seconds, which left him around three tenths off pace setter Sergio Perez and a similar amount up on Mark Webber in third. In total the Brazilian did 132 tours - and after a trouble-free final day he had no complaints.
“These two days of testing were very important and the outcome is good,” Massa told Ferrari's official website. “We introduced a lot of new components on the 150° Italia and their effect was clear to see: there's more downforce and therefore, even the tyres were working better, even if their level of degradation is still significant.
"Today, we did a race simulation and the car also worked well in this situation. I don't know where we are compared to the others however, because we just concentrated on ourselves.”
Pressed on if the Scuderia are the favourites for F1 2011, which is what Webber reckons, Massa isn't so sure: “I would say they [Red Bull] are the favourites: they are the reigning world champions,” he reasoned.
“They also have a very quick car and they appear to have done a very good job during these tests. Having said that, I really hope that he is the one who is right!”
So what can we expect in Australia in two weeks time, when the F1 2011 season gets underway?
“I think that qualifying will still be important, but the race will be very different to last year,” Massa continued. “I expect a lot of pit stops, as can be seen from the fact that today I did four and it will be important to manage the tyres very carefully, even in qualifying. Strategy will become even more important, that's for sure.
“I myself feel more confident, because to have more grip on the first flying lap is vital for me and I think that my style of driving is well suited to these tyres, whereas last year I struggled a lot because the tyres, especially the fronts, were very hard.”