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Jerez day five - Heidfeld quickest as test concludes 05 Mar 2009

Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09 Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60 Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 having completed a lap with aero paint on one side of the car. Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF109 Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain.

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld was the fastest driver in action at Jerez on Thursday, as this week’s test at the Spanish circuit concluded. Heidfeld’s best time, a 1m 20.052s, put the German almost four-tenths of a second clear of Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari.

Although a damp track quickly dried out over the course of the morning, the windy conditions that had affected running on Wednesday continued to hamper the teams’ aerodynamic programmes. Heidfeld, however, still managed to cover 123 laps in the F1.09 as he focused on the car’s mechanical set-up.

Over the course of the Jerez test, BMW Sauber completed a total of 1,728 kilometres (plus 209 km on 2010 tyres).

“The ever changing weather made it quite difficult to do continuous work during the Jerez test,” explained the team's technical coordinator Willy Rampf. “Nevertheless we achieved the main targets of our development programme. Basically we concentrated on set-up work and evaluation of new components.

“Running the BMW Sauber F1.09 for the first time in full wet conditions was a valuable experience as well. In addition on one of the days we had the chance to test the 2010 specification tyres. Now we will have a busy weekend working out the programme for the last pre-season test in Barcelona next week. We will also have a complete race simulation and pit-stop practice on the schedule.”

Raikkonen covered 112 laps, as he focused his attentions on the Ferrari's set-up and reliability. Over eight tenths down on the Finn was Lewis Hamilton for McLaren. Hamilton completed 58 laps, but his session ended prematurely when a sudden gust of wind swept him off the track and into a tyre barrier.

Fourth fastest was Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who covered 47 laps in the RB5. Webber was charged with testing Bridgestone’s tyres for 2010 but he was forced to stay in the garage until the track had dried. Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima, meanwhile, completed 54 laps in the FW31 on his way to fifth in the times.

“Overall, we’ve had a productive week evaluating aerodynamic components and mechanical set-ups, as well as putting valuable mileage on engines and transmissions to be ready for Melbourne," said technical director Sam Michael. "Although we have not completed our programme fully, the Toyota engine’s durability has been extremely impressive.”

Completing the day's runners was Jarno Trulli for Toyota. Trulli only managed to cover 38 laps in the TF109, before his test was brought to an early close when his front wing was damaged.

"That was a short day for us,” explained the Italian. “We lost the morning to the weather but in the afternoon we had a chance to try out the 2010 Bridgestone slick tyres. On one run I picked up some damage to the front wing after running over kerbs. As for this season, this test shows that things are going well for us so we can be confident."

Although the test in Jerez is now over, most of the teams are expected to be back in action next week at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya for a four-day test from March 9.

Unofficial Thursday times from Jerez:
1. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:20.052
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:20.404
3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:21.272
4. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:22.219
5. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 1:22.226
6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:23.119