Team Sauber-Petronas' new drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa, undertook a fitness and health training programme from Tuesday to Friday this week in Seefeld near Innsbruck, Austria.

The activities were organised by Sauber, and the team's physiotherapists, Joseph Leberer and Helmut Fink, were in charge of the programme.

The training was based on prior medical fitness examinations, such as blood tests and comparisons of the current results with those of previous checks. The main focus was on senso-motoric activities. Indoor climbing, tennis, football and mountain walking were on the agenda to enhance co-ordination, physical strength and concentration.

"I enjoyed the fitness camp very much," said Fisichella. "We did a lot of testing with very good results. I think this gave me a good start to my work with Sauber and I feel absolutely fit for my first test with my new team next week. It was also the first time that I went climbing! It was a great experience and good training for the hands and body. You really have to figure out the best and most feasible way to reach the goal and this makes it particularly challenging."

Massa said, on his return to the Sauber team fold: "It is always helpful to do exercises and it is important to do a good test in excellent shape. You basically have to carry on with your exercises the whole year through. As soon as you have a long break you lose the edge to your physical and mental fitness. This fitness programme convinced me that I'm well prepared for the tests to come. We played tennis football, did power training, exercises for the neck and went swimming. The activities varied a lot and I enjoyed them very much."

Team manager Beat Zehnder, who accompanied the drivers, was impressed by their high standard of fitness. "Our drivers are already now at a very good level. Felipe has remarkably improved and has grown up since we last worked together. Giancarlo always had the reputation of being in good shape, and he proved this to the full. He is very pragmatic and has a very factual approach to the different tasks. It is fantastic to work with both of them and I am looking forward to the next season."

Fisichella will conduct his first test with Sauber from November 25-27 in Barcelona. From December 8-10 Massa will test in Jerez. Test driver Neel Jani will complete the tests for this year on 11 December, again in Jerez.

 

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