Rough start for Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa endured a rough start to his 2011 season with an oil fire on his first day of testing in Valencia.

Massa was behind the wheel of the new F150 for the first time, with team-mate Fernando Alonso having driven for the first two days of testing. However Massa was forced to miss a large part of the day when his car caught fire.

Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa later explained that it was a simple problem which caused the fire. “A pipe came undone and the oil that escaped ended up on the exhausts and tyres,” Costa explained.

“That led to the spin and the small fire which caused the damage that led to a long stop in the garage. It was a shame because, until this point, everything had gone smoothly.”

After the problem, Massa was forced to wait in his garage until 2:30 pm local time. When he eventually emerged he remained on the track for most of the time until the session ended, eventually completing 80 laps.

“It was not nice having to stop pretty much before I’d started the real work, but then, it was a relief to find out it was nothing that serious,” Massa commented.

“Unfortunately though, I lost a lot of time and, in the afternoon I then tried to make up for it and get a feeling for the new car.”