Nick Heidfeld has admitted he was very excited to test a Formula One car on slicks tyres for the first time in years at the Jerez circuit on Tuesday.
The BMW-Sauber driver completed 10 laps with Bridgestone's slick tyres, as the Japanese company gather data for a preliminary evaluation for their possible return to the sport in 2009.
Heidfeld had only driven an F1 car on slicks when he tested a McLaren several years ago at Silverstone, and the German driver confessed it was exciting to see the new tyres on his car again.
"I think the last time was when I drove in the Formula BMW thing," Heidfeld told autosport.com during testing at Jerez. "It was a PR event I did, but in racing I think it was in F3000. In 2000 it was already grooves, so in 1999. It has been a long time.
"It was really exciting, when the tyres came on with the blankets still on I was so excited, and when they came off, it was an unusual sight, really unusual. I thought it was like in the past - it looked so strange."
Heidfeld put the slicks to good use, setting the fastest time of the day in yesterday's session, and the BMW driver admitted the car was easier to drive.
"Obviously there was more grip," he added. "It was easier to drive the car. A bit more forgiving and it seems easier to correct mistakes than with the grooves. It is more predictable, but I only did 10 laps."
The German also said he was surprised by the difference with grooved tyres.
"Actually I expected a huge difference in the lower speed (corners) and only a small difference in the higher speed (corners), but the difference in the lower speed was quite big and the difference in the higher speed was more than I had thought, it was quite surprising."
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