Felipe Massa will be the first man to drive the 2013 Ferrari Formula One car. The Brazilian will drive for the first three days of the first pre-season test in Jerez, Spain, starting on 5 February, before handing over to new Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa for the final day of the Jerez test. Fernando Alonso will not feature until the second test in Barcelona starting on 19 February.
While Massa and De la Rosa are testing in Jerez, Alonso will be focusing on his physical training in advance of another long, demanding season. The Spaniard should not suffer from a lack of testing, however, as the schedule has been arranged for him to complete most of the second test in Barcelona before sharing the final test with Massa.
Ferrari are emphasising the importance of Pedro de la Rosa’s test day in Jerez, as it will assist him with the simulator work that forms the major part of his testing role.
The team confirmed yesterday that the engine in the new car was fired up for the first time on 23 February and that the work of assembling the car is progressing well.
The full Ferrari driver schedule for pre-season testing is:
|Felipe Massa||Jerez, Spain||5 Feb|
|Felipe Massa||Jerez, Spain||6 Feb|
|Felipe Massa||Jerez, Spain||7 Feb|
|Pedro de la Rosa||Jerez, Spain||8 Feb|
|Fernando Alonso||Barcelona, Spain||19 Feb|
|Fernando Alonso||Barcelona, Spain||20 Feb|
|Fernando Alonso||Barcelona, Spain||21 Feb|
|Felipe Massa||Barcelona, Spain||22 Feb|
|Felipe Massa||Barcelona, Spain||28 Feb|
|Fernando Alonso||Barcelona, Spain||1 Mar|
|Felipe Massa||Barcelona, Spain||2 Mar|
|Fernando Alonso||Barcelona, Spain||3 Mar|
Following the demise of HRT, Pedro de la Rosa has been looking for a job. And now he has found one. Perhaps HRT’s closure has worked out well for the Spaniard, as his new role is as test driver for Ferrari.
De la Rosa’s chief task will be simulator work, for which he should be well prepared after a long stint as test driver for McLaren, during which time he worked with Fernando Alonso in 2007. Additionally, the Spaniard has raced for Arrows, Jaguar, McLaren, Sauber and HRT, in the process earning valuable racing experience. Aside from his roles within race teams, de la Rosa was Pirelli’s test driver during 2010 after losing his seat at Sauber to Nick Heidfeld midway through the season, which will have given him a unique perspective on the behaviour of Pirelli’s tyres.
Unfortunately for de la Rosa, he is unlikely to spend time on track in the 2013 Ferrari, as in-season testing is banned and pre-season testing limited to just 12 days this year. Race drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will doubtless take care of all 12 testing days, which leaves de la Rosa spectating when not in the simulator. Nonetheless, there is always the possibility that one of the race drivers could become unavailable for a race, which might result in de la Rosa realising every driver’s dream of racing for Ferrari.
De la Rosa on his new role: “It is amazingly motivating to be working for a team like Ferrari, not just because of what it represents in the history of Formula 1 and motoring in general, but also because it will be a completely new and very stimulating experience for me… I really hope I can get to work as soon as possible and to help in the development of the car. I am happy to be collaborating with Fernando again and also to be working with Felipe. There’s not much time until Australia, but there is a lot to do and I am available to help the team from right now.”