Massa: Ferrari upgrade issues lingering

Autosport

Ferrari can take some encouragement from the performance of its latest aerodynamic updates, but the fact they did not produce as much as predicted shows the team's problems linger - according to Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian reckons that Ferrari cannot feel completely confident it has got on top of the windtunnel calibration issues that have hurt its development progress this year.

Fernando Alonso used new front and rear wings in Abu Dhabi as part of Ferrari's push to close down the performance gap to Red Bull.

The new front wing worked as expected, but the rear wing did not deliver all the downforce benefits that had been hoped.

"The new configuration is definitely a bit better," Massa said. "The numbers give better points of downforce.

"We have a new front wing which is definitely exactly what it is supposed to be on his [Alonso's] car, and he has a new rear wing which is a little bit less than half of what it is supposed to give. So it is not everything it is supposed to be.

"So if we bring the pieces and they are on the car that is positive. But for sure when you see that it is supposed to give one thing and it is giving half, then it is still not 100 per cent great. But it is [at least] important to improve the performance.

"To improve means working and it means what the windtunnel did is positive in a way. Maybe it is not very, very positive, but it is positive."

Ferrari may have been encouraged by its long run pace on Friday, but Massa thinks the outfit should have done better in qualifying - an area it has worked hard on improving.

"This track is different and there are a few cars that got better and a few got worse," he said. "Our car for sure got worse at this track compared to some other tracks.

"Even by having some new parts, not only on my car but on Fernando's car, it was not a big improvement. It was an improvement for sure because he is using it, but it is not like to be there fighting with these guys."

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