Massa happy with 'cute' Ferrari F60

Updated: 12 January 2009 17:29 IST

World Championship runner-up Felipe Massa described the new Ferrari F60 Formula One car as 'cute' after it was unveiled on the company's official website.

Massa happy with 'cute' Ferrari F60

Rome:

World Championship runner-up Felipe Massa described the new Ferrari F60 Formula One car as 'cute' after it was unveiled on the company's official website on Monday.

Massa, who missed out on the world title to Britain's Lewis Hamilton on the final corner of the final race in Brazil last season was the first to test the 2009 Ferrari model -successor to the F2008 - which has been radically adapted to comply with new International Automobile Federation (FIA) stipulations aimed at encouraging overtaking.

"I feel emotional but I'm also happy to take it out on track for the first time," said the Brazilian.

"With all the new rules I was expecting a different type of car, like 10 years ago with big wings so I was surprised. "The new F60 seems tiny, very compact and cute."

The car is named F60 in reference to the number of championships Ferrari have participated in and becomes the 55th different F1 car designed by the Italian manufacturer.

Most of the design changes have been imposed by the FIA in order to increase overtaking in a sport often lacking in excitement due to the difficulties in passing the car in front.

A shorter front wing, a thinner but higher and more compact rear wing and standardised central chassis are all modifications introduced by the FIA's Overtaking Working Group (OWG).

Other changes include an improvement to the suspension to make handling in difficult conditions easier, while slick tyres will be re-introduced this year.

The Kers system to recuperate kinetic energy has also been installed on the engine while the transmission has been redesigned to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Massa took the F60 for a spin around the famous Mugello circuit just outside Florence with Ferrari having changed the original location from Fiorano, their usual test track near their base at Maranello close to Bologna, due to icy conditions there.

Ferrari, the reigning constructors' world champions, are the first team to unveil their new F1 car but will be followed this week by Toyota on Thursday and Hamilton's team and main title rivals McLaren a day later.

The Renault team of former double world champion Fernando Alonso and Williams unveil their cars next Monday with BMW Sauber following a day after that.

Red Bull, however, will not announce there's until February 9.

It is Ferrari and McLaren, though, who are expected to lead from the front again this season and Massa says he is ready to try to go one better than last season, when only a single point separated him from Hamilton following the Briton's late overtaking of Timo Glock in Brazil.

"Every year you feel stronger, better prepared psychologically and physically," said Massa.

"But I feel stronger from the point of view of experience. I feel ready for a great battle.

"Right now it's difficult to say who will be the main rivals but for sure McLaren will make life the most difficult but there's also BMW, Renault and maybe other surprises.

"We don't know how good the Ferrari will be, we've worked very hard but there's still a long way to go before the first race."

The new F1 season opens in Melbourne on March 29 with the Australian Grand Prix, which last year was won by eventual world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Topics : Formula 1 Felipe Massa Brazilian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton
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