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F1: Massa gets test boost, Vettel in third

Published on Feb 8, 2013 6:24 AM
Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa speaks to the media at the Jerez racetrack on Feb 5, 2013, in Jerez de la Frontera. -- PHOTO: AFP

JEREZ, Spain (AFP) - Brazil's Felipe Massa topped the time charts on the third day of pre-season Formula One testing on Thursday as world champion Sebastian Vettel marked his first appearance of the winter with third place.

Massa, whose future at Ferrari had been the subject of much speculation after his disappointing eighth place finish last season, clocked 1min 17.879s as he thrived in the absence of teammate 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 on Wednesday.

Massa was the only driver on Thursday to dip below the 1min 18sec mark with Mercedes' Nico Rosberg setting the second fastest time of 1:18.766 and Vettel, in the new Red Bull RB9, clocking 1:19.052.

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