Jerez de la Frontera, 8 February – The first test of the season for Scuderia Ferrari and the ten other Formula 1 teams came to a close today in Andalusia. Therefore one third of the 2013 testing programme is now completed: with Felipe Massa on the first three days and then Pedro De La Rosa on the final one the team completed an intense programme which will continue on track in two weeks’ time in Barcelona.
Today, Pedro’s gearbox issue resulted in fewer kilometres but luckily in the afternoon the Spaniard was able to complete his workload. Tomorrow, there will be the usual debriefing with the engineers who followed the sessions from home and they will be joined by Team Principal Stefano Domenicali to go over the past four days of testing. At first glance, the data obtained confirms Massa’s first impressions who rated the F138 as an easier car to drive, more stable and better balanced compared to the F2012. Having said so, the solutions the team tested will require in-depth research, a task that went on for much of the test session and which will continue in Maranello and in the next test at the Catalunya circuit. For the time being, the direction in which to move forward seems very clear.
In Jerez the car racked up a decent number of kilometres although they are never enough for the engineers and the work in the garage was never ending in the attempt to test the different technical solutions planned ahead of the test. There are areas that definitely need improving, but the first set-up changes made between Tuesday and Friday delivered positive results so the team can be optimistic. Nevertheless, it is paramount to keep the feet on the ground as every year the same rule applies: Felipe’s fastest lap of the week counts for little and one must be cautious as there are never accurate benchmark levels. Now the work must proceed quickly and calmly to improve the car and to ensure that reliability can also be counted on as a given, just as it was in 2012. Between now and Melbourne there is just over a month and before then come two sessions at Montmelò to prepare for the opening round as well as possible.