Ferrari aces Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen are confident the Scuderia has finally turned a corner in its bid to regain its competitive edge in 2007, after the duo thoroughly dominated proceedings during practice ahead of Sunday's French Grand Prix.

Nobody - not even the hitherto unbeatable McLaren-Mercedes' - could get close to the two scarlet machines around Magny-Cours as Raikkonen and Massa shared the honours, the former quickest in the morning session and the latter taking over at the top in the afternoon. Both agreed the Prancing Horse had taken a step in the right direction after seeming to lose its way somewhat over the past couple of months.

"Today we were quick and we have found a good balance right from the first few laps in this morning's session," Massa stated. "I think the work which culminated in the test at Silverstone is beginning to produce results. We were competitive and I think that can continue for the rest of the weekend. The harder tyre seems more consistent in terms of performance, while the softer one seems to give more grip which will be useful for qualifying."

"I would say this was quite a positive day," Raikkonen concurred. "We worked well and I think we can be competitive this weekend. The car went well right from the morning, but there is still room for improvement. However, as usual on a Friday, it is hard to say what the real pecking order is in the field. The performance of the two types of tyre we have here is pretty similar, even if I never managed to get a clean run with the softer one so it's hard for me to say which is quicker."

Technical director Luca Baldisserri was also in confident mood at the end of the opening day's proceedings in France, reasoning a new approach had reaped dividends for the squad.

"The first day of free practice produced positive signs and we tackled it in a slightly different way to usual," the Italian commented. "Both drivers reckon they are satisfied with the handling of the F2007, which proved to be well-balanced right away and we have found a good base from which to work out the best set-up. The performance of the two tyre types seems very similar, but we need to take into account things could change as the condition of the track surface evolves."

 

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