- Jerez Test, Day One
New Ferrari 'on a completely different planet' to F2012 - Massa
Felipe Massa says the F138 is "on a completely different planet" to Ferrari's 2012 car after the first day of testing at Jerez.
Ferrari endured a woeful pre-season in 2012 as its new car failed to perform as expected and started the season well off the pace. When asked to compare the new car to his first impressions last year, Massa said the base was much better but warned there was still a lot of work to be done before the first race in Australia.
"If you compare to last year it's on a completely different planet," Massa said. "Last year I remember we were struggling a lot to drive the car; it was difficult to keep the car on the track. So this year the base on the car is completely different to last year. The car is much more balanced, I felt a good direction at the rear of the car as well in terms of traction. This is a track that is very tough on the rear so degradation is very high.
"I would say the difference compared to last year is huge, but it's always a start. It's always the beginning of another year. We know how important it is to understand the direction of the car from now until the first race so it's still a lot to do. Even if the direction is different to last year there's a lot to do in the car, there's a lot to do to understand the right direction to make the car ready for the first race."
Having finished the opening day in sixth place - 1.6s slower than Jenson Button's pace-setting McLaren - Massa said he was not disappointed by the standings despite describing Button's time as "incredible".
"For sure I am not disappointed, definitely. We didn't drive a lot; we had a few issues in the car in terms of temperature inside so you open the car to understand. The car at the beginning was maybe a bit hotter than I expected, it's a new car so we need to understand the direction to fix that - I don't think it's a really difficult thing to fix - but we didn't drive a lot. I'm not disappointed; the [1m] 18.8s is an incredible time, definitely, but a 19.7s [Mark Webber's time] I don't think so. It's the first day; how we run, how we drove and the direction we had for the first day I'm not really disappointed. There's a lot to do, a lot to work, a lot to develop the car for the first race - this is clear - but I'm not disappointed."