If Ferrari’s Felipe Massa wanted to prove he hasn’t changed since his life-threatening accident last July, he did a very good job on Monday in Valencia, topping the timesheets as this year’s opening test got underway at the Spanish track. Massa covered 102 laps in the new F10, clocking a best time of 1m 12.574s.
Second quickest was Pedro de la Rosa for BMW Sauber. De la Rosa, who has opted to forsake his long-held test role at McLaren for a chance to race at the Swiss team, will no doubt be pleased with the maiden showing of his C29, after he ended the day just over two-tenths down on Massa’s Ferrari.
The third slot on the timesheets was taken up by returning seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, who made his debut outing for new team Mercedes. Covering 40 laps during the course of the afternoon, Schumacher took over the W01 from team mate Nico Rosberg, who posted the day’s fourth-fastest time during the morning session.
Fifth quickest was McLaren tester Gary Paffett, who was charged with giving the MP4-25 its maiden run and completed 86 laps. Paffett was the last runner to make it under the 1m 13s mark, with Rubens Barrichello ending the day in sixth following his first day in the new Williams FW32. Barrichello covered 75 laps for his new team.
Despite only managing to complete 18 laps after his STR5 suffered a gearbox issue, Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi finished seventh. The final runner was Robert Kubica for Renault. Kubica finished eighth after clocking a best time of 1m 15.000 over his 69 laps in the R30.
Testing continues at Valencia until Wednesday.