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Kubica debuts the F1.08 in Valencia - updated 15 Jan 2008

Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW Sauber F1.08 First test, Valencia, Spain, 15 January 2008. World © Patching/Sutton Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW Sauber F1.08 First test, Valencia, Spain, 15 January 2008. World © Patching/Sutton Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1 talks with an engineer in the garage. BMW Sauber F1.08 First test, Valencia, Spain, 15 January 2008. World © Patching/Sutton

Just 24 hours after its launch in Munich, BMW Sauber’s 2008 car enjoyed a successful test debut on Tuesday in Valencia. Robert Kubica, who was charged with taking the F1.08 out for the first time, pulled out of the garage shortly after midday.

“It was a good start,” said the Polish driver. “I've only driven a few laps so far, but I have the impression that everything is heading in the right direction. The car feels more stable than its predecessor and it builds up more grip. I'm looking forward to the test days to come.”

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen added: “The roll-out of the BMW Sauber F1.08 went-off absolutely hitch-free. All systems were functioning from the word go and Robert has gained a positive first impression of the new car's handling. It means the most suspenseful moment for the engineers and technicians has resulted in a positive outcome.”

Kubica was joined at the Spanish track by team mate Nick Heidfeld, who was tasked with driving the squad’s car from last season, the F1.07. Heidfeld enjoyed a brief taste of the new car during its launch on Monday, completing three demonstration laps at BMW’s new vehicle delivery centre in Munich, and will get back behind the wheel later this week.

“I really enjoyed driving the old car as well,” said the German. “During the winter break there were a few weeks when I hadn't been in the car. The F1.08 is the most beautiful vehicle I have seen in my F1 career. It has a lot of interesting details. I'm really excited about getting inside it on Thursday!”

With their rivals in action in Jerez for a three-day test, both BMW drivers will concentrate their attentions on the team’s 2008 development programme in private, ahead of the multi-team session at the track next week.