Massa first to test new Ferrari

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 07:40 hrs

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 25 (IANS) Brazil's Felipe Massa will be the first driver to test Ferrari's 2013 Formula 1 car.

The 31-year-old will be the designated driver for trials at Jerez from Feb 5-7 before two-time world champion Fernando Alonso returns from his off-season break two weeks later, Ferrari confirmed on its website Thursday, reports Xinhua.

Buoyed at being given a 12-month contract extension late last year, Massa recently revealed plans to challenge for the 2013 F1 drivers' championship.

He scored just 23 points in the first half of last season before a series of impressive results catapulted him to seventh in the drivers' standings with 122 points.

According to Ferrari, Massa will be given seven days to test the new car and Alonso five. The team's development driver Pedro de la Rosa, who drove for HRT last season, will also trial the car for a day.

The 2013 Formula 1 season begins with the Australian Grand Prix March 17 at Melbourne's Albert Park circuit.

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