Ferrari has a lot of work to do, says unimpressed Massa

Ferrari has a lot of work to do, says unimpressed Massa

Formula One

Ferrari have their work cut out in Formula One's pre-season testing to turn their ugliest car in years into a winner that the tifosi can come to love, Brazilian Felipe Massa said on Wednesday.

RAGING RED : Brazilian Ferrari driver Felipe Massa says F2012 is generally agreed to have the ugliest of noses among the Formula One cars this year. REUTERS

Massa, who has been sent various warnings that he could lose his place at the team at the end of the season, completed 95 laps and was seventh fastest on the second day of the opening Jerez test.

"Actually, there is a lot of work," he told reporters with muted body language that suggested he was far from thrilled with what he had experienced so far.

"It is a brand new car and it is not a (type of) car that we had in the last years; even to start with. So it is a car that needs a lot more work, a car that you need a lot more things to try as well.

"Today, I did so many laps, just trying such different things on the car... it was a programme really in the direction to understand every single point from the car.  "It was so many things to do which it was not the case in the past on the first day even."
Massa also said it was the ‘little stuff’ that the team had to understand.

Asked whether there had been any unwelcome surprises, he said that was always to be expected in a new car.

"Sometimes you don't see the result that you expect. Some other parts as well, you have a different direction. A new car is always like that. I think it is just the beginning of a big job to have a consistent and competitive car."

The F2012 has a distinctive stepped nose like other new cars, with the exception of McLaren, but is generally agreed to be the ugliest of the bunch.

That was one thing that Massa was not in the last worried about, however.

"We don't see the front wing. We just look to the front so we can't see this new step which is very ugly to be honest," he smiled.

Michael Schumacher was hoping the late arrival of his new Mercedes would pay off after doing nearly two race distances in last year's car on the second afternoon of Formula One testing on Wednesday.

Despite that, and despite setting a quickest lap that was meaningless on a day when rivals were trying out their new cars, the German still played down his title chances.
The seven-times world champion pounded out 132 laps, with a best time of one minute 18.561 seconds, to gather tyre data on the new Pirelli rubber.

Webber on song

Australian Mark Webber was quickest of those in the new machines, putting in 97 laps for champions Red Bull with a best time of 1:19.184 ahead of compatriot Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso.

Mercedes have decided not to run their 2012 car until the second pre-season test in Barcelona later this month to give them as much development time as possible. “It (bringing the car out late) maybe is an important factor because we have worked longer on our car,” the 43-year-old Schumacher told reporters afterwards in a huddle at the back of the Mercedes garage.

“As I said before, I don't think we can realistically achieve a championship car from where we started last year.  “We have to build our way there. I'm confident we can do that, in future, but let's take it step by step,” added the German, who has not been on the podium since he began his comeback in 2010.

Schumacher said reliability was the main focus and Mercedes hoped to have learnt from the past.

“Our programme is done in a way that we believe in it,” he added.

“I'm around to fight for the championship. Whether we can or cannot do it, that is something that will be proven this year, or whenever.”