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SAUBER Kick Off 3-Day Test at Barcelona


Felipe Massa

By Jamie Makin
January 29 2005

Team SAUBER PETRONAS resumed winter testing today at the Circuit de Catalunya. The tracks surface problems have diminished after rival teams tested there last week so SAUBER was able to set about some meaningful work. The weather did not cooperate well for Felipe Massa's run. "Because of the very low temperatures we couldn't cover many laps in the morning and were forced to wait until the weather and track conditions got better by noon," explained race engineer Mike Krack. "For this reason we were not able to run our programme as previously scheduled. We also found it difficult to achieve the right car balance today and therefore we will focus on more set-up work tomorrow to improve it."

The difficulties were apparent in Massa's best time of 1:17.488 which was a second and a half off the pace of the front-running Ferrari of Luca Badoer. SAUBER seems to need more time to get the C24 and the Michelin tyres working in harmony after troubles with rear grip have been reported. Massa's time still isn't as bad as it seems. Micheal Schumacher's Ferrari set a fastest race lap of 1:17.450 at last year's grand prix. The 2005 rules were intended to slow the cars by 2 to 3 seconds a lap and it's quite clear that the team has clawed most of this back.

P Driver Team Engine Car Tyre Best Lap Gap
1 Badoer Ferrari Ferrari F2004M B 1:15.940 -:--.---
2 M Schumacher Ferrari Ferrari F2004M B 1:15.995 0.549
3 Montoya McLaren Mercedes MP4/19 M 1:16.543 0.603
4 Massa SAUBER PETRONAS C24 M 1:17.488 1.548

For full 2005 pre-season test results click here.

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