The BMW Sauber F1 team was very happy with its four-day test in Valencia this week, particularly with the high reliability of its new car - the F1.09, which was only launched on Tuesday.
Nick Heidfeld was again in action today [Saturday], having taken over from team-mate, Robert Kubica on Friday and while strong winds again forced changes to the programme, he still managed plenty of laps - 91 in total.
In the morning he focused on system checks, while in the afternoon he switched to the collection of more data on the car's mechanical components.
“Although the test had to be interrupted once when the wind blew some debris over the track, I managed to do some long runs in the afternoon,” Heidfeld said. “I finished the day with some race start simulations on different tyre compounds.”
BMW Sauber's managing director Walter Riedl meanwhile added that the first test with the F1.09 was very pleasing.
“After Tuesday's shakedown in Valencia we went on to complete four days of testing. Covering a total of 1,887 km, the new BMW Sauber F1.09 was running without any noteworthy problems, which meant we were able to carry out a comprehensive test programme on each day,” he reflected.
“At first it was a matter of testing the individual systems, after which we focused on set-up work. We managed to collect a great deal of data and have already made initial progress.
“Although the strong winds made testing difficult during the last two days, we benefited from the fact that the track was dry throughout and outdoor temperatures were higher than during our tests in December, which meant we were able to glean some valuable insights concerning the tyres as well. We have already used the 2009 version of the V8 engine with its rev limit of 18,000 rpm, as well as employing KERS.
“Overall we are very happy with the testing, particularly with regard to the high reliability of the new car. Now we are naturally very keen to see where we stand in terms of the competition, but we will have to wait for the next test to gain a first impression.”
The BMW Sauber F1 team will now resume testing next month, with two tests in Bahrain from February 10-13 and February 16-19.