Massa heads Silverstone test

The Formula One teams are back in action this week for a three-day test at Silverstone to prepare for the British Grand Prix.

Newly crowned championship leader Felipe Massa was on top of the timesheets at the end of the morning session, the Brazilian signalling his intention to follow up his French Grand Prix triumph with further success.

Ferrari dominated here last year, courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen, and the F2008 seems to be every bit as suited to the demanding Silverstone race-track as its predecessor.

Massa lapped the 5.1km circuit in 1m 20.188s, over half a second quicker than Raikkonen’s fastest lap in last year’s race.

The Ferrari ace was over a second clear of his closest challenger, Robert Kubica, who is desperate to put the disappointment of France behind him after storming to victory in Canada the race before.

Heikki Kovalainen was third fastest at the end of the morning session. McLaren are launching an aggressive development programme at the Silverstone test, building on an already significantly revised MP4-23 that featured in Magny Cours.

Unofficial morning times from Silverstone:

1. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) - 1:20.188, 32 laps
2. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber-BMW) - 1:21.437, 31 laps
3. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren-Mercedes) - 1:21.530, 34 laps
4. Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota) - 1:21.619, 41 laps
5. Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault) - 1:21.636, 40 laps
6. Jenson Button (Honda) - 1:22.591, 30 laps
7. Nelson Piquet jr. (Renault) - 1:23.453, 28 laps
8. Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) - 1:23.853, 10 laps
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India-Ferrari) - 1:24.258, 44 laps
10. Kamui Kobayashi (Toyota) - 1:24.317, 29 laps