Felipe Massa has said that he would welcome the addition of extra test sessions ahead of the 2014 F1 season in order to get to grips with the new technical regulations.
The next generation of F1 engines is due to debut at the first test of the winter, and an extra session has been mooted to join the existing three four-day outings in order to help iron out any teething troubles. The new V6 units come complete with an increase in energy regeneration, meaning that there are more systems to be integrated into the 2014 car designs. It has been suggested that several of the proposed four sessions also take place outside of Europe in order to guarantee better weather, after this year's testing at Jerez and Barcelona was blighted by rain and low temperatures.
While many drivers would baulk at the thought of extra testing commitments, however, Massa says he would look forward to the opportunity, particularly given the task ahead for 2014.
“I would be happy if there was more testing,” he told the official Ferrari
website, “This year, we know the car, even if we need to understand more about the tyres, but, for next year, I think it would be very important to have more testing as the changes coming as a result of the new regulations for the engine and the rest of the car, will be very significant.
“Next year, the way you drive the car will need to be completely different, with much lower downforce levels than this year.”
The inclement conditions faced by the teams in pre-season testing this year have been blamed, in part, for the current tyre woes, with Pirelli's latest specification proving to be vulnerable to excessive wear and, as Massa discovered in Bahrain, prone to delamination.
It is no surprise, therefore, to find the Brazilian in two minds over proposals to introduce a beefed-up spec ahead of next month's Canadian Grand Prix, as he has been able to rediscover his form on the existing rubber.
“Changing tyres on safety grounds is understandable,” he admitted, “But, in my career, I have seen championships where we couldn't change tyres at all, other years where there was a fight between two tyre suppliers, some where a single pit-stop was the norm, even if it made racing a bit boring, and others like this one, where there are many pit stops, so F1 has not changed specially this year.”