Heidfeld impressed with Sauber car

BARCELONA: Germany’s Nick Heidfeld gave Sauber’s 2003 Formula One car its track debut on Monday after a first attempt at Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit in Italy was snowed off last week. 

Heidfeld covered 61 laps in the Ferrari-powered C22 at the Circuit de Catalunya while teammate and compatriot Heinz-Harald Frentzen concentrated on development work with last year’s car. 

“After our unexpected problem of snow in Italy last week, it was a relief to have cold but dry conditions in Spain today,” the team quoted technical director Willi Rampf as saying. 

“Our purpose today was simply to check out all the components, control systems, the two-way telemetry and start to optimise the new gearbox and suspension settings. It has been a successful roll out.” 

Heidfeld, who clocked a time of 1:18.897 while Frentzen lapped in 1.18.691 despite struggling with a cold, said he had not been pushing hard but was impressed with the car’s stability. 

“I am delighted to report that my first impression of the new car was very favourable,” he said. 

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams was quickest in Monday’s Barcelona test, ahead of team test driver Marc Gene. – Reuters 

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