Felipe Massa has claimed that the first outing for Ferrari's new F60 race car was a positive one, despite not completing many laps or setting the world alight with sparkling times.

The Brazilian, who finished runner-up to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in last year's F1 world championship, was entrusted with the shakedown of the 55th grand prix machine to roll out of Maranello, but endured a slow start to the day as the car completed sporadic laps amid the usual teething troubles after the day's programme decamped to Mugello.

Admitting that he had not expected the F60 to have a flawless debut, however, Massa insisted that there had been enough good to encourage him ahead of the team's first proper test with the car, at the new Portimao circuit in Portugal, later this month.

"For the first day, there weren't planned 100 laps or particular lap times because, when the rules change in such an important way, the shakedown becomes more difficult and delicate," he said after Ferrari had packed away the radical-looking car, "Today there were small problems, like on any first day, but I'm happy with how it went.

"We resolved some minor problems today and I'm glad that I went 100 kilometres using the KERS, which was the part that worried us most. We started to use it just a bit in the beginning and then we raised its performance level. In the upcoming tests, we'll have the possibility to try out all its different aspects.

"Instead, we used this first day to check the general functioning of the engine, the gearbox, the suspension and the KERS. It was positive, because everything worked just fine. We wanted to do 100 laps but, in reality, we tested more than we had actually expected to."

Running solo at Ferrari's second home track, Massa admitted that the day had been routine, but said that he was looking forward to getting back into the thick of testing with other teams present.

"It's much more fun when there are other cars, when you can compare your lap times," he explained, "Today was less fun in this respect, but we were here to run the car, which was the main goal. I had fun doing that, and I hope that, next week in Portugal, I'll have a car I can drive the whole day."

The F60 was unveiled with all the visible changes that the new FIA rulebook demands, with the wider front wing and taller, thinner rear wing that was ridiculed when they first appeared on BMW Sauber's interim car during post-season testing late last year. Massa, however, did not allow the look of the car to affect his judgement of it - he even called it 'cute' during a pre-run chat with the media - and insisted that everyone would come to accept the changes.

"This car is completely different from the one we had last year," he said of the driving sensation brought about by the revised specification, "KERS and the aerodynamic changes mean the car is completely different to drive, but you get more familiar [with it] and, eventually, it will be automatic. I was positively impressed - and I'd prefer an ugly car that's fast over a beautiful car that's slow.

"When changes are introduced, it is always like that and, at this stage, we suffer - like we did last year with the lack of traction control. This is just the beginning of a new cycle in Formula One and it will not be an easy experience. This is a situation where the driver is more important."

Massa admitted that he had not been expecting to find a good-looking car at Mugello, but confirmed that he liked what he saw.

"When I came over from Brazil I thought 'I've seen several things in the wind tunnel, but the complete car is different'," he commented, "Over the last few years, we've always seen a much nicer car year after year. I didn't expect a beautiful car, but I have to say it is very beautiful, despite all the rules, which make the cars uglier. Let's hope it's fast."