8 Feb 2013

Massa quickest in latest F1 pre-season session

11:30 am on 8 February 2013

The Ferrari driver Felipe Massa topped the time charts on the third day of pre-season Formula One testing at Jerez as world champion Sebastian Vettel marked his first appearance of the year with third place.

Massa, whose future at the Italian outfit has been the subject of much speculation after his disappointing eighth place finish last season, thrived in the absence of team-mate Fernando Alonso, who is sitting out the four-day session.

His time just edged the week's previous best set by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.

Mercedes pilot Nico Rosberg was second fastest.

Vettel did over 100 laps before heading back to the pits where his mechanics quickly erected a black screen to frustrate the prying eyes of rival teams eager for a look at the team who have guided the German to three successive world titles.