Ferrari and Felipe Massa off to a flyer in Jerez F1 test
Felipe Massa topped the time and lap charts after the first day of Formula One's second pre-season test, around Jerez in Spain on Thursday.
With Hispania the only team not testing their 2011 car, the four day test will start to offer some glimpses into how the various constructors will fare this season.
On that score, the early signs are good for the Scuderia as Massa completed the quickest lap of the day and a century of laps – more than anyone else on day one in Spain.
Lewis Hamilton was given the first chance to take the new McLaren MP4-26 for a spin and the Woking team, which was more than a second adrift of Massa's best. McLaren had used their 2010 car at the opening test in Valencia 10 days earlier.
Massa said: 'I am pleased. I was able to run continuously, without losing any valuable time. The fastest time doesn't mean anything, because we don't know what trim the other drivers were running.
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Australian Mark Webber was workmanlike as he got close to putting in a century of laps in Red Bull's new RB7.
'It was pretty good,' Webber told BBC Sport. 'We did almost 100 laps and the car ran well. On the performance side I think we're going OK. It's very early and you don't know who's doing what, but we're focusing on ourselves and seem to be going in the right direction.'
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Group Lotus-backed Renault had Vitaly Petrov in the seat, and he was eight fastest – although there was still plenty of attention on who will step in for Robert Kubica on the other side of the Renault garage.
The aim is to have someone in place who can challenge for the drivers' championship – and Nick Heidfeld is leading the list of candidates, believed to include Pedro de la Rosa and Vitantonio Liuzzi.
German driver Heidfeld is set to be given the chance to seal his place if he performs well in Jerez over the weekend.
Team principal Eric Boullier said: 'After a difficult few days, it's good for the team to be back at the track and to have our minds focused on developing the car.
'Things went pretty well, but it's early days and there is still so much for us to learn about the new car.'
A number of teams, including Hingham-based Team Lotus carried the message 'Szybkiego powrotu do zdrowia Robert' on their cars – meaning 'Get well soon Robert' in Polish.
Several teams had do get through teething problems with their new car – which was also the case for Team Lotus, with Jarno Trulli losing more than two hours in the afternoon.
'The car does feel pretty good, but the problem this afternoon limited our total time on track,' said Trulli. 'Despite that we are still where we want to be – close to the midfield and in a car that we still have a lot more to add to. I think there is still a lot more to come from the car so I'm very positive.'
Sporting director Dieter Gass added: 'For the first time we were able to do meaningful setup work and start being able to understand the aerodynamics of the car.'
Force India admitted they were 'not going for times' as Adrian Sutil gave the VJM4 its first run, while a problem with their movable rear wing – a new feature in F1 for 2011 aimed at increasing overtaking opportunities – left Williams with a day technical director Sam Michael admitted was 'not productive'.
• Jerez test, day one – fastest times: 1 Massa (Ferrari) one minute 20.709 seconds, 2 Perez (Sauber) 1:21.483, 3 Webber (Red Bull) 1:21.522, 4 Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) 1:21.755, 5 Hamilton (McLaren) 1:21.914, 6 Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) 1:22.689.