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Massa tops testing



31 MAR - 03 APR 2016

Felipe Massa finished fastest on the first day of the Pirelli tyre test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The Ferrari driver topped the timesheets after 94 laps on tyres provided by the Italian manufacturer, who will replace Bridgestone as F1 sole tyre supplier from the start of next season.

All 12 F1 teams were in attendance at the circuit for the start of the two-day test session, and the top of the order soon took on a familiar look with Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren setting the pace.

Massa finished the day with a best time of one minute 40.170 seconds, over three-tenths faster than new world champion Sebastian Vettel, who completed 77 laps on the new Pirelli rubber for Red Bull.

The German suffered a right-rear tyre failure with two minutes remaining in the session, forcing a red flag. It was the first failure of the new Pirelli rubber since the company's testing programme began.

McLaren test driver Gary Paffett was third, seven-tenths down on Vettel, while Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi was fourth from Renault's Robert Kubica and the Williams of sixth-placed Rubens Barrichello.

Britain's Paul Di Resta was seventh for Force India after setting a time over a second quicker than team-mate Adrian Sutil, who lost time with an exhaust problem this morning and finished 10th.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was eighth with Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso ninth.

Last season's new teams took their customary place at the back of the grid, with Virgin's Timo Glock ahead of Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus) and Pastor Maldonado (Hispania).

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