Massa says McLaren never been so far behind

MILAN Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:47am GMT

McLaren F1 driver Lewis Hamilton drives his racing car during a testing session at Catalunya's racetrack in Montmelo near Barcelona March 11, 2009. REUTERS/Albert Gea

McLaren F1 driver Lewis Hamilton drives his racing car during a testing session at Catalunya's racetrack in Montmelo near Barcelona March 11, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea

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MILAN (Reuters) - McLaren and world champion Lewis Hamilton have never been as far behind as they were in this week's test in Barcelona, Ferrari's Felipe Massa has said.

McLaren were again well down the timesheets on Thursday with Hamilton only seventh fastest.

"I have never seen McLaren so far behind," last season's runner-up Massa told Friday's Gazzetta dello Sport.

"However, they have another test to see what is not working. They are a team which can improve from one day to another, so you always need to respect them."

Rubens Barrichello, whose new Brawn GP team secured their future only last week after previous owners Honda pulled out, set the best time of the week.

Ferrari concluded their pre-season testing ahead of the season-opening race in Australia on March 29 with fellow Brazilian Massa completing 92 laps.

"This is the car that we expected to have for the start of the season," Massa said.

"We have had some little problems but from Wednesday afternoon I have done a race-and-a-half without leaving the car. I am quite satisfied with our performance compared to the others... apart from Brawn."

(Editing by John O'Brien)

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