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BMW Sauber upbeat after Bahrain test 20 Feb 2009

Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday 19 February 2009.  
  
Willy Rampf (SUI) BMW Sauber Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 17 March 2007 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09. Formula One Testing, Day Four, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday 19 February 2009.

BMW Sauber are in a confident mood for the season ahead after enjoying a productive test in Bahrain this week. Driver Nick Heidfeld and tester Christian Klien completed over 2,300 kilometres in the F1.09 during the four-day session at the Sakhir track.

“The long test in Bahrain was very productive,” said technical director Willy Rampf. “We could work with the cars in temperatures we would not have encountered in Europe at this time of the year, making it good preparation for the first races of the upcoming season.

“We worked mainly on the general set-up of the F1.09, trying numerous solutions on the mechanical and aero side of the car as well as gaining experience with the three available tyre compounds. We also made good progress with KERS. Overall we reached our target of collecting as much data as possible about the car's reactions to changes in the set-up.”

While Klien tested on Monday, Heidfeld spent three days in the F1.09 and covered 300 laps. The German clocked his best time of the week on Thursday, when he went second quickest with a lap of 1m 32.225s. And after finishing under a tenth of a second down on Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, Heidfeld was also pleased with progress.

"The track conditions were the best they have been all week," explained the 31 year-old, after Thursday’s session had concluded. "We could already try a couple of improvements. The car reacts to changes as planned, so I'm confident we are working in the right direction."

BMW Sauber will return to the test track in a little over a week’s time, when the majority of teams come together for a four-day test at the Spanish circuit of Jerez.