Massa fastest as F1 testing resumes


BARCELONA, Spain, AP

BARCELONA, Spain — Williams recovered from last week’s problems and Felipe Massa set the fastest time in Formula One preseason testing on Tuesday.

Massa had a time of 1 minute, 19.726 seconds as the cars returned to the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya for the final four days of testing before the 2017 season begins.

Massa’s lap was just a tad slower than Valtteri Bottas’ fastest time from last week, when he clocked 1:19.705 with Mercedes.

Massa set his time in the morning session with the quicker supersoft tires. He was nearly two tenths of a second faster than the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo and the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton was fourth-fastest with Mercedes.

“Very good day for us,” Massa tweeted, adding that it was “not bad” for an old and former retired driver.

The Brazilian driver, who returned from retirement after former teammate Bottas replaced retired champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, was unable to run on the final day of testing last week after the team discovered chassis damage caused by a crash by 18-year-old rookie Lance Stroll. The team had to prepare a second chassis in time for this week’s sessions.