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Valencia day two - Heidfeld ends on a high 27 Jan 2005

Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Williams FW26. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 10-16 January 2005. World © Bumstead/Sutton

Nick Heidfeld set the Valencia pace on Wednesday in his final test before Williams announce whether he or Antonio Pizzonia will race for the team in 2005. Less then three tenths of a second split the rivals as they finished one-two in the times.

Despite strong winds and unseasonably low temperatures hampering progress, both Heidfeld and Pizzonia managed around 100 laps of development work in the interim FW26. Williams will announce their final driver line-up at the launch of the new FW27 next Monday.

While Heidfeld’s work for the week is complete, Pizzonia continues on Thursday, along with Andy Priaulx, who has been awarded a one-off test for his European Touring Car Championship victory for BMW.

The fastest non-Williams driver on Wednesday was Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella, the best part of a second behind Pizzonia in last year’s R24. Team mate Fernando Alonso was ninth in the new R25, completing only 30 laps after a few teething problems.

"Our programme with the R25 was delayed by electrical problems this morning, but we prefer to be cautious and thorough at this early stage of running the car, and we took time to identify and solve the problems,” explained chief test engineer Christian Silk.

“Fernando began running more normally at the end of the day, but conditions were not good at this time: I think all the teams struggled with the gusty winds today. We haven't begun working on set-up or performance runs yet, and those will be our aims for tomorrow."

Red Bull Racing had three cars on track. David Coulthard and Christian Klien were fourth and fifth fastest respectively, while Vitantonio Liuzzi, in his first day of testing this week, finished eighth.

Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato added another 200 plus laps of development mileage to the BAR 007, while Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis continued work with Toyota’s new TF105 machine.

Testing continues at Valencia on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Valencia:
1. Nick Heidfeld, Williams (Michelin), 1:10.079
2. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:10.364
3. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:11.127
4. David Coulthard, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:11.493
5. Christian Klien, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:11.851
6. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:11.953
7. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:11.973
8. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:12.086
9. Fernando Alonso, Renault (Michelin), 1:12.093
10. Takuma Sato, BAR (Michelin), 1:12.604
11. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Michelin), 1:12.830