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Positive roll-out for Sauber C24 in Valencia 17 Jan 2005

Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) Sauber Petronas and Felipe Massa (BRA) Sauber Petronas. Formula One Testing, Valencia, Spain, 14-15 January 2005. World © McNeil/Sutton

Sauber declared their first three-day test with the new C24 a success, despite technical problems hampering Jacques Villeneuve’s familiarisation with the car on Sunday.

Felipe Massa was in the cockpit on Friday and Saturday and completed a largely trouble-free 133 laps of the Spanish circuit. The only difficulty reported by the team was bodywork overheating around the exhausts, but this was quickly solved.

After Saturday’s programme, technical director Willy Rampf commented: "We ran nearly a full race distance without technical problems - what else can you ask of the Sauber Petronas C24 on its second track day? For us it is a good result and we are happy with it.

“Our goal today was to do long-runs to evaluate the engine and brake cooling capacity. The race pace in the long-runs looked competitive compared to what we had at the start of the last season. In addition, we scanned all set-up possibilities of the electronic systems and checked the recovery systems.”

Sunday was less productive, however, with Villeneuve’s first outing in the new car lasting just 23 laps. “We lost a lot of valuable running time today due to a few minor technical problems with the electric and the hydraulic system,” explained Rampf.

“However, to find out such difficulties in an early stage is the reason why we have roll-outs. Overall we are quite happy with the results of these test days. On Friday we successfully completed the roll-out of the C24, and we were able to confirm that all major systems such as cooling and brakes are working properly."

As expected, both drivers reported the car to be more nervous than its predecessor thanks to the regulation changes which have reduced available downforce. The team will continue testing the C24 at Valencia this week.