Quick Nick on track with F1.06

By on

At 1.20 pm today Nick Heidfeld drove the very first lap with the BMW Sauber F1.06 at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo. After this installation lap he returned to the garage for the usual checks before continuing to clock up a total of 29 laps at this systems check.

Nick Heidfeld "I have been much more nervous than before any other roll-out I have experienced because this is a bigger and long-term programme, and I feel so much passion for this project. The first laps with the BMW Sauber F1.06 were absolutely trouble free, and to begin with I used intermediate tyres as the track was still damp in places. After this first experience I am really looking forward to the forthcoming test days, as we continue to work further in order to find out where we are."

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director "The initial roll-out is the most exciting moment of the year for the engineers. After some nine months of development and simulation we could finally run the car in real time for the first time and get feedback from the driver. We are very pleased that this first day of systems checking ran so smoothly. That’s a good beginning. Now the car is gaining momentum and getting faster and faster with every lap."

Shortly after the BMW Sauber F1.06´s installation lap it was Jacques Villeneuve´s turn to drive the interim car C24B/BMW P86. Jacques Villeneuve “the gearbox had a hiccough and stuck in first gear on my first lap.” As a result the rear end overheated, causing the engine cover to smoke as Villeneuve arrived back at the pits. The electronic error was soon sorted out, and Villeneuve was able to continue.

Heidfeld did a total of 29 laps with the BMW Sauber F1.06, with a fastest time of 1:13.430s. Villeneuve drove 50 laps to record a 1:14.037s best. The BMW Sauber F1 Team continues testing in Valencia with both cars until and including Thursday.