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Jerez day one - Williams debut for Vettel 28 Sep 2005

Sebastian Vettel (GER) tests for Williams. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, Tuesday 27 September 2005. World ©  Hartley/Sutton

Williams were alone on track at Jerez in Spain on Tuesday, as this week’s test - the last major session of the season - got underway. Joining Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg was 18-year-old German driver Sebastian Vettel, making his Formula One debut.

Vettel, the 2004 Formula BMW champion, is currently competing in the Formula Three Euro series with sponsorship from the German automaker and Red Bull. He spent three hours in the FW27 during the afternoon, completing a total of 25 laps.

"It was an unbelievable experience!" he said, visibly overwhelmed. "The brakes, the g-forces and the power of the engine are beyond description. Thanks to BMW and WilliamsF1 for giving me this chance to test. The test team looked after me brilliantly and I learnt plenty."

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen commented, "Sebastian made a successful switch from around 220 bhp in Formula 3 to almost four times that in a Formula One car. The whole team was pleased with him. He now has a first-hand idea of the extreme dynamics involved and the physical demands on the driver. That experience will stand him in good stead in the future."

While Vettel’s day was about getting used to the Williams, Webber and Rosberg concentrated on the team’s preparations for the final two rounds of the season. Webber was the busiest, running almost 140 laps of tyre and set-up work. Rosberg, meanwhile, was hit by technical problems in his morning session and completed 37 laps, focussing on tyres and brakes.

Conditions for the start of Williams’ two-day session were perfect, with clear skies and ambient temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius. The team are due to be joined on Wednesday by several rivals, including McLaren, Renault and BAR.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Mark Webber, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.917
2. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Michelin), 1:19.265
3. Sebastian Vettel, Williams (Michelin), 1:21.364