Jerez day one - season countdown begins 11 Jan 2005
Heidfeld stakes his claim for Williams race seat
With less than two months to go before the 2005 Australian Grand Prix, Formula One testing resumed at Jerez in Spain on Monday, with Williams Nick Heidfeld setting the pace.
Heidfeld, who is hoping to race for the team this season, was fractionally quicker than Williams partner Mark Webber, the German completing 81 laps to the Australians 90. Both men were working on set-up and brakes, using interim FW26 machines, at the start of a five-day programme.
BAR commenced a four-day schedule with test drivers Anthony Davidson and Enrique Bernoldi in the cockpit. Both drivers were at the wheel of the 05 Concept car, ahead of the launch of the new 007 in Barcelona this weekend. They concentrated on tyres, putting in 165 laps between them.
Testing was run in perfect conditions at Jerez, with ambient temperatures of up to 16 degrees Celsius. The session continues on Tuesday when McLaren, Renault and Toyota are among the teams expected to join proceedings.
Ferrari were on track on Monday, but at Vallelunga in Italy. Luca Badoer recorded 80 laps with a best time of 58.454s as the Italian focussed on development of Bridgestone tyres and new electronic solutions.
Unofficial Monday times from Jerez:
1. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.447
2. Mark Webber, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.493
3. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:18.200
4. Enrique Bernoldi, BAR (Michelin), 1:19.250