Felipe Massa, like all the drivers at Sakhir, has had a frustrating time with testing interrupted by sandstorms. He got some miles in on Tuesday but did not run the KERS system in the Ferrari car. The plan was to run it on Wednesday, but the sandstorm intervened.
Ferrari are not making too many noises at the moment about how well things are going. The car has been faster so far than the BMW and the Toyota and apparently it’s looking quite consistent, which has been the hallmark of Ferraris in recent years. But is it fast enough? Because there is no doubt that the McLaren looks like a strong car.
I saw this quote from Massa this morning, which I found interesting,
“The F60 is behaving itself better here (Bahrain) than it did in Mugello, where it was harder to drive, less stable. Now the car makes me feel more at ease. It’s very important because now without the aerodynamic downforce it’s all much more difficult, especially when the tyres go off. However we have found the right track for improving the set-up.”
It’s a cautious thumbs up. There is a long way to go to understand all the bells and whistles on these new cars and to get them sorted out and precious little time to do it. Track testing is very limited this year, with only one car per team allowed at a test and a limited number of tests at that. Ferrari and McLaren will come together at the Barcelona test in March (I expect) and then we will get a truer picture. I’m sure there are new parts aplenty to come to both cars, as there will be to BMW and others.
The KERS system could turn out to be important if one team has it and the other hasn’t, or one team has it working better than the other, especially at the race starts, where it is worth 70 metres or so in acceleration off the line compared to a non KERS car.