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Successful Valencia roll-out for Sauber C23 15 Jan 2004

Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber C23, Valencia testing, 14 January 2004

The Sauber C23 made a successful track debut at Valencia on Wednesday, just two days after its official launch. Giancarlo Fisichella did the driving over 33 laps of the Spanish circuit and completed a scheduled programme of work, which focused on functionality tests.

"Today is my birthday and the crew surprised me with a cake, but this was not the best present I got from the team," Fisichella said. "That was the new car, which felt good on the track. I did a few runs in the afternoon and everything went well. Usually there are some problems on the day of the roll-out, but today everything was working perfectly. That's the most important thing at the moment.

"Next week we will be testing in Barcelona, like most of the Formula One teams, and then we can make comparisons with other cars and see just how competitive we are. Today was a great day, overall, as the C23 ran so well, so I'm happy."

"Today's roll-out programme for the C23 concentrated on tests of the cooling, electronics, and fuel and hydraulic systems. The results are satisfying," commented Sauber technical director Willy Rampf. "Tomorrow we plan to run different set-ups and will use the day to familiarise ourselves with the performance characteristics of the new car."

"33 trouble-free laps in a half day of testing is a remarkable roll-out for us and just the right birthday present for Giancarlo," team principal Peter Sauber added. "Nevertheless, it is too early to say more about the potential of the car. We must await references to other teams."

Fisichella will continue testing the C23 on Thursday before Felipe Massa takes over the driving on Friday. Sauber will be then be running in Barcelona from January20 to 23.

See also: Sauber unveil the C23 in Salzburg
See also: Sauber C23 launch - in pictures