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C24 Fastest 2005 Car at Valencia

Massa's Quickest

By Jamie Makin
January 21 2005

Felipe Massa took over driving duties today in Valencia and completed 110 trouble free laps in the SAUBER PETRONAS C24. The car has been very reliable since its rollout and today the team has finally started getting more speed out of it. Massa's clocked a best time of 1:11.217 which puts the C24 0.052 seconds ahead of Button's BAR007. The only rivals to go quicker this week were still using 2004 and hybrid cars. The 2005-spec C24 is setting times that are within 1 second of the times set by the 2004-spec C23. The C23's best time was 1:10.466 set last January. The 2005 rules were supposed to take 2 to 3 seconds off a laptime so the C24 is lapping at an extraordinary pace thus far.

Race engineer Giampaolo Dall'Ara talks about today's test. "It was another good testing day for us. The car ran without any technical problems, and Felipe was able to complete a lot of laps. In the morning we worked mainly on the set-up, and we were able to improve the performance gradually. In the afternoon we ran a compound test for Michelin and did some long-runs in order to learn how to achieve the best possible consistency."

The week's test was a success for SAUBER with no technical problems limiting track time. "Overall the three days were very productive," said Dall'Ara. "The C24 shows already a high level of reliability which enabled us to cover a total of 309 laps. This is really impressive for a new car. However, there is still a lot for us to learn about the set-up of the car, because the new regulations make a big difference to recent years when we could build on the experience from previous seasons.

SAUBER will return to the test track in on 28 January at Barcelona, Spain.

P Driver Team Engine Car Tyre Best Lap Gap
1 Wurz McLaren Mercedes MP4/19 M 1:09.906 -:--.---
2 Alonso Renault Renault R24 M 1:10.688 0.782
3 Montagny Renault Renault R24 M 1:11.186 1.280
4 Massa SAUBER PETRONAS C24 M 1:11.217 1.311
5 Davidson BAR Honda BAR007 M 1:11.501 1.595
6 Bernoldi BAR Honda BAR006 M 1:11.279 1.373

For full 2005 pre-season test results click here.

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