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BMW Sauber wrap up productive Valencia test 26 Jan 2009

Nick Heidfeld (GER) in the BMW Sauber F1.09, Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain, 23 January 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) in the BMW Sauber F1.09, Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain, 23 January 2009 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.09. BMW Sauber F1.09 First Test, Valencia, Spain, 20 January 2009. Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1. BMW Sauber F1.09 First Test, Valencia, Spain, 20 January 2009.

Although strong winds continued to hamper their progress, BMW Sauber left Valencia satisfied after concluding their four-day private test on Saturday. Nick Heidfeld was in action for the final day and covered 91 laps in the team’s 2009 challenger, the F1.09.

With gusts of wind at the Spanish track reaching 70 km/h, engineers were forced to alter Heidfeld’s scheduled programme, with the German focusing on system checks in the morning and data collection over longer runs after lunch. He concluded the day by carrying out some race starts.

“Although the test had to be interrupted once when the wind blew some debris over the track, I managed to do some long runs in the afternoon,” said Heidfeld after the test. “I finished the day with some race start simulations on different tyre compounds.”

Despite the unsettled conditions, the team racked up almost 400 laps over the test, as both Heidfeld and team mate Robert Kubica sampled the 2009 car for the first time. And while they are yet to compare their pace with that of their competitors, they are pleased with progress.

“The new BMW Sauber F1.09 was running without any noteworthy problems, which meant we were able to carry out a comprehensive test programme on each day,” said managing director Walter Riedl. “At first it was a matter of testing the individual systems, after which we focused on set-up work.

“We have already used the 2009 version of the V8 engine with its rev limit of 18,000 rpm, as well as employing KERS. Overall we are very happy with the testing, particularly with regard to the high reliability of the new car. Now we are naturally very keen to see where we stand in terms of the competition, but we will have to wait for the next test to gain a first impression.”

The team will be back in action in Bahrain, testing alongside Toyota and Ferrari on February 10-13.