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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Massa tops first day of Monza test

Days after his win in Valencia, Felipe Massa kept the fast laps coming, leading testing at Monza with a time of 1:23.428.

With the summer ban lifted, all 10 teams were in action on the high speed circuit. Most work concentrated on aero setup for next month’s Italian Grand Prix, as well as for Spa.

“The car’s feel is very important at Monza because you are trying to run with as little drag as possible so you do not have as much downforce as at other circuits,” said Jarno Trulli, who finished ninth on the day. “We had a delay at the beginning of the day but then we concentrated on brake work as well as trying the car with different levels of downforce and evaluating the Bridgestone tyre compounds that we will use in the Italian Grand Prix.”

The times were exceedingly close, with just over a second all that separated Massa from Renault’s Nelson Piquet at the bottom of the chart.

“It was a good day’s work and nice to complete so many laps,” Piquet said. “It’s the fastest circuit of the year and so we were trying out our low downforce package, which went well, although it always feels strange to drive with such little downforce on the car. The track was also quite green, which didn’t help, but I was happy with the set-up work we completed, even though we still have a lot to learn.”

Most teams are conducting a three-day test -- Ferrari had a head start, Andrea Bertolini running in the F2008 yesterday. Running continues tomorrow, with Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Bourdais among those joining the action.

Testing times
  1. Massa, Ferrari, 1:23.428
  2. Kovalainen, McLaren, 1:23.439
  3. Rosberg, Williams, 1:23.461
  4. Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:23.691
  5. Barrichello, Honda, 1:23.827
  6. Webber, Red Bull, 1:24.005
  7. Heidfeld, BMW, 1:24.075
  8. Liuzzi, Force India, 1:24.239
  9. Trulli, Toyota, 1:24.510
  10. Piquet, Renault, 1:24.540
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