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   Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 09:29 GMT
Heidfeld praises new Sauber
Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber C22
Heidfeld managed 61 laps in the new car at Barcelona
Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld has given the team's 2003 Formula One challenger the thumbs-up after its first test.

The German drove the C22 car at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya after its initial test at Ferrari's Fiorano test track in Italy last week was snowed off.

Heidfeld clocked a time of one minute 18.897 seconds on Monday, adding that he had not been trying to take the car to the limit.

It has been a successful roll-out

Willi Rampf
Sauber technical director

That was 0.2secs slower than new team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen in a 2002 car and 1.1secs adrift of the day's fastest time set by Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

Heidfeld said: "I am delighted to report that my first impression of the new car was very favourable. The car seems very stable, much more than last year's."

Heidfeld covered an encouraging 61 laps on the car's first day of testing.

Technical director Willi Rampf said: "After our unexpected problem of snow in Italy last week, it was a relief to have cold but dry conditions in Spain.

"Our purpose today was simply to check out all the components, control systems, the two-way telemetry and start to optimise the new gearbox and suspension settings.

"It has been a successful roll-out."

See also:

10 Jan 03 | Formula One
09 Jan 03 | Formula One
08 Jan 03 | Formula One
10 Jan 03 | Formula One
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