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F1.06 gets Villeneuve approval 20 Jan 2006

Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) BMW Sauber F1 Team. BMW Sauber Launch, Valencia, Spain, 17 January 2006. World © Sutton

Jacques Villeneuve came away impressed after his first test in BMW Sauber’s 2006 challenger, the F1.06, on Thursday. Villeneuve completed 76 laps of Spain’s Valencia circuit as the team completed their first three-day session with the new car.

"The BMW Sauber F1.06 felt really good,” said the former champion. “After the first day in a new car you can tell if it will be competitive or not; this one felt fast and I think there is more potential in it than in the C24 last year. That's very positive.

"Overall, I think these three days went well. Normally with a new car you expect quite a few problems, but this test went pretty well, so I'm happy."

Chassis technical director Willy Rampf was equally pleased with the team’s progress, commenting: “After a total of 692 kilometres with the BMW Sauber F1.06 in three days we are happy with the results we achieved. The main focus during the roll-out was to check functionality and to concentrate on reliability issues.

“On the whole, we experienced very few minor technical problems, and this allows us for the forthcoming track tests to focus mainly on set-up work, the introduction of test components and the continuation of the Michelin tyre development programme.”

While Villeneuve was putting the F1.06 through its paces, team mate Nick Heidfeld, who debuted the car on Tuesday, was back in the team’s interim Sauber C24B. He completed 117 laps of tyre work with a quickest time of 1m 12.293s. Villeneuve’s best was a 1m 12.472s.