x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Massa's new Ferrari catches fire after its first few test laps

The Brazilian was testing for the first time this year after Fernando Alonso, his Spanish teammate, had spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the F150.

Flames leap from Felipe Massa's Ferrari yesterday. Paul Gilham / Getty Images
Flames leap from Felipe Massa's Ferrari yesterday. Paul Gilham / Getty Images

Felipe Massa found his new Ferrari Formula One car too hot to handle yesterday when it caught fire after he had completed only a few laps of the Valencia circuit in eastern Spain.

The Brazilian was testing for the first time this year after Fernando Alonso, his Spanish teammate, had spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the F150.

The Italian team said on their website that Massa pulled over when the car suffered an oil leak caused by a broken clamp. "Unfortunately the lubricant ended up on the exhausts which led to a small fire breaking out and that caused some damage to the car."

Massa was sixth overall last season, and has plenty of pressure to improve after enduring continuing speculation about his future with the team.

Lotus Renault driver Robert Kubica closed Formula One's first test session of the new season with the quickest time over three days. Kubica's lap of 1min 13.144sec was faster than the leading times set by Red Bull and Ferrari over the previous days.

Adrian Sutil of Force India was second with a best lap of 1:13.201, ahead of Wednesday leader Alonso. Jenson Button finished fourth in his McLaren and Tuesday leader Sebastian Vettel was fifth in 1:13.614.

* Agencies