felipemassaday3.jpgThe third and final day of testing at the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire England witnessed Ferrari’s Felipe Massa post the fastest time of the day a 1.20.805. Ending the test on a positive note for the Maranello boys, despite the little Brazilian poppet spinning his car into the gravel in the morning session and causing the marshalls some grief by bringing out the red flags on 3 separate occasions.

“It has been good,” said Massa of the test. “It is the only day I am testing here, but I am quite happy with the balance of the car straight away, and the lap times, and the consistency.
“So I am quite optimistic and looking for better results than in the last three races.” Thanks heavens for that.

But it wasn’t all champagne and roses; little Felipe had a word or two to say about the Silverstone track. According to our ray of “Sunshine”, the Silverstone track surface is very bumpy and unless the track is resurfaced prior to the British Grand Prix…Felipe believes that they may all struggle to keep their dental fillings in.

I think the chances of the resurfacing happening are about as likely as Bernie Ecclestone putting his hands in his wallet and letting the moths out…so we can only hope everyone has a good proper check up at the dentist prior to the race.

alonsosilverstone.jpgThe next fastest man of the day 0.469 seconds behind was McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who had been testing the race set up and aerodynamic performance of the McLaren car after taking over from Pedro de la Rosa. Although here at FFN we are not reading too much into the relative test performance of the two teams as McLaren do seem to have a habit of sandbagging, or dawdling when it comes to testing…well it’s one or the other.

The McLaren team seemed to suffer yet another oil-related problem on their car in testing, which severely disrupted the amount of track time they could put in. I’m really trying not to get too excited, but its very hard to stop having palpitations when you can just smell the faintest whiff of a Mcboom in the pipeline.

While McLaren’s Double World Champion was putting in the hours on the test track, his illustrious team mate Lewis Hamilton was attending a promotional event in London, where one of his karts were auctioned off for an astonishing £42,000. Not one to let his team-mate Alonso get any kind of media attention when he can hog it all, Lewis promptly showed off his racing prowess in afore mentioned kart and pranged it, causing some damage.

Oops how embarrassing, we now understand the lucky recipient of the kart will be getting a free racing incident “dent” along with his £42,000 worth of vehicle, everyone should be so lucky.

nicorosberg.jpgThird quickest of the day was Williams flaxen-haired starlet Nico Rosberg who has enjoyed some stirling drives of late, so much so that the media have got themselves all in a lather anticipating he will be Kimi Raikkonen’s replacement at Ferrari before too long. Of course Williams have denied the rumour and insisted that nobody has enquired about their driver, you would think by now Williams should be a bit more clued up than that. Ferrari don’t have a habit of knocking on the door and politely enquiring, they sneak round the back and before you know it your man is dressed in red, and your left with egg all over your face…well if your Ron Dennis that is.

Before I go completely off at a tangent, Williams managed to conclude their test programme without too much interruption, and young Nico was due to fly off to Iceland to take part in a promotional event for Hamleys. Just as I always thought…a big kid.

At Renault Nelson Piquet Jnr (or Peanut Junior as I like to think of him) took over testing duties from Heikki Kovaleinen. The young Brazilian concentrated on tyre evaluation studies (yup there are four of them, they are round and black and rubbery) and race set up, completing over 100 laps for the Renault team.

Peanut Junior managed to post the fourth fastest time of the day just going to show Renault are making slow but steady progress up the grid, and we can possibly expect them to be fighting for the championship again by the time Giancarlo Fisichella is on his Zimmerframe.

Yesterday’s hero Yawn-o Trulli, once more slipped back into old habits and a perpetual comatose state as he dawdled round in the Toyota carrying out tyre comparisons in fifth spot. We would have thought he knew the difference between the white striped and non white striped ones by now, but you never can tell with Jarno… and we are wondering if a haircut sometime this century might be of some assistance.

According to the Italian, the Toyota team had been relatively fast all week (until he got into the car obviously) and they are expecting to be in a competitive position for the British Grand Prix…as long as it doesn’t rain. Rain in July? In England? As if!

Down at Red Bull Dave “Cube-head” Coulthard took over testing duties from his Antipodean “mate” Mark Webber. The Red Bull team managed to make some significant progress after the technical difficulties of the previous two days (that’s no way to refer to Mr Webber!), despite Silverstone being fairly windswept, providing the team with some unique aerodynamic challenges around the area of DC’s jaw-line.

Just along the pit lane at BMW-Sauber everything was about as exciting as Quick Beardy’s Personality, Timo Glock (that can’t be his real name) carrying out tyre, suspension and aerodynamic evaluations during a very uneventful day for the team. Presumably Sebastien Vettel was still in School, Robert Kubica was at Madame Tussauds for a day trip and had got locked in as one of the waxwork models by mistake, and Nick Heidfeld was still entangled at the Barbers Shop.

Scott “I’ve got a big…” Speed was on duty for Torro Rosso, the American’s car suffering a power train failure during the afternoon bringing the STR programme to an early close. Team Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli commenting that some of the solutions they were working on had paid off and others hadn’t, presumably pretty much like they had or hadn’t at Red Bull then. However the team confirmed the new quick-shift gearbox had safely endured 3 race distances and was being signed off as a success, so there are no excuses now Scott…erm…Slow.

giedo-van-der-garde.jpgFinally, Spyker carried on pretty much in their usual vein, Christian Albers suffering technical difficulties due to a fit of the electrical gremlins. Spyker test driver Giedo van-what’s-his-name got off to a storming start in the afternoon, spinning in the gravel trap and damaging the front suspension on his first flying lap. Way to go! Mind you if its good enough for Massa it’s good enough for everyone.

Spyker managed to repair the damage but decided it was probably for the best not to send Giedo-whatcha-majiggit out again, so Christian had to get back in the car and complete some further testing…. Then it started raining….

All in all not a very thrilling day of testing at Silverstone, we can only hope that the French GP at Magny-Cours (or Mangy-cows) in little over a week’s time turns out to be a bit less of a yawn-fest!

Forza Ferrari.

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