'Better than five out of ten' - Massa
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24 February 2012 – Felipe Massa believes Ferrari is still some way off achieving a race-winning pace ahead of the 2012 F1 season. Echoing the Tuesday sentiments of team-mate Fernando Alonso, the Brazilian stresses that much work remains ahead of the Maranello team, which last claimed the drivers’ title with Kimi Räikkönen in 2007.
As the majority of teams focussed on serious setup work in Barcelona on Friday, Massa could be seen performing straight-line aerodynamic runs on the start/finish straight, signalling that Ferrari is still attempting to establish a strong base configuration for its F2012.
“We are working to have the best car we can to fight for victories and for the championship, like we did in 2008, and I hope we can be like that,” the Paulista told GPUpdate.net and the gathered media.
“Until the first race it is very difficult to know. Last year, we were leading many days in testing here and then we were more than one second off the pace in the first qualifying session. We will be sure when we’re in Australia.”
When asked to rate Ferrari’s performance on a scale of one to ten, Massa replied:
“I think more than five, but there is still work to be done to be close to where we want, which is ten. At least we have made a good step to find the direction we need to go in.”
For the final pre-season test next week, Ferrari will start one day later than the majority of teams (on Friday) and thus finish a day later, on Monday. After Red Bull asked permission to follow suit and join the Italians’ private Monday test, the latter agreed.