France’s Groupe Massa (MPSA) has been appointed the sole national importer for the Aeolus consumer tyre range, which was first introduced into Europe last year. The company began supplying Aeolus products to the French market at the start of February and has accompanied its new distribution with an advertising campaign.
In a season full of surprises and controversy, the signing of Fernando Alonso by Ferrari – completed today in a deal that will see the Spaniard racing with the flashiest of constructors from 2010 to 2012 – does not rank highly in terms of shock factor. However, the Spanish driver’s defection from Renault is sure to add to the list of potential world champions next season; a season for which Ferrari says it is already planning, following a year in which the team has looked decidedly off the pace. Kimi Raikkonen will make way, with Felipe Massa joining Alonso on the grid to complete a team that has much to prove, especially if Alonso’s ambition to follow in Michael Schumacher’s footsteps (detailed on the BBC’s website) is to be realised.
Felipe Massa held the advantage in opening practice at his home country’s Grand Prix in Interlagos, Brazil, though championship leader Lewis Hamilton was only two-tenths behind having led for much of the time the pair were on track. The race, which takes place this Sunday, will decide the winner of 2008’s championship, though Hamilton is in the box seat seven points ahead of his Ferrari-driving rival.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa took the European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia over the weekend, holding off the challenge of Championship leader Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren. The placing of the drivers, coupled with the retirement of Kimi Raikkonen, thanks to engine failure, means that Hamilton increases his lead on second place to six points, while Massa moves up to second.
BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica took the final spot on the podium, while Hamilton’s McLaren colleague Heikki Kovalainen took fourth to follow his debut victory in Hungary. McLaren’s performance means that it has closed the team’s Constructors’ Championship deficit to eight, with Ferrari continuing to lead the way.
With the F1 Australian Grand Prix – the first of the 2007 season – taking place on March 18 drivers are getting ample opportunity to get a better feel for the Bridgestone tyres during practice sessions. The March 16 practice sessions saw Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa shine through as the best overall performers. The first practice session began on a wet circuit, which meant that Bridgestone’s wet and extreme wet tyres were given an airing. With the second session run in much drier conditions the medium and soft dry compound tyres were put into use.