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Formula One: Golden oldie Massa fastest in second test

Williams ace Felipe Massa upstaged former world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel on the first day of Formula One’s second pre-season test in Barcelona on Tuesday.

The Brazilian posted the second fastest lap in five days of testing so far with a time of 1min 19.726sec.

The 35-year-old Brazilian retired at the end of last season only to reverse his decision when Williams had a vacancy after Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes.

The 2008 world championships runner up showed he is in fine shape by also completing 168 laps – the joint highest individual day’s mileage so far this season as Williams bounced back in style from their troubles in last week’s first test.

“Very good Day for us @WiliamsRacing, 168 Laps. Not Bad for a old and ex retire Driver,” Massa posted on his official Twitter account.

Red Bull’s promise to up their speed from last week’s first test was also fulfilled as Daniel Ricciardo recorded the second fastest lap.

Ferrari’s promising pace from the first test continued as Vettel was over half a second faster than Hamilton with both on the same soft tyte compound in third fastest.

Vettel also logged a mammoth 168 laps as, unlike others, Ferrari suffered no reliability issues.

Three-time world champion Hamilton was restricted to just 49 laps as warmer temperatures caused the normally bullet-proof Mercedes a few troubles.

“I wasn’t feeling great today, but that is just the setup and it is also quite hot today so tyres are degrading,” said the Englishman.

“I’m not massively excited at the moment just because it is the first day of testing of week two and I didn’t get a lot of running this morning, so I’m looking forward to the next couple of days.”

Valtteri Bottas managed an extra 86 laps for Mercedes in the afternoon session, but was marginally slower than Hamilton to finish fifth on the day.

At the other end of the paddock, McLaren’s troubles continued.

Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne posted 80 laps in 10th fastest, but only after another change of the faltering Honda engine.


© Agence France-Presse