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Fisichella Impresses with C23 at Valencia

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella impressed on the first proper day of testing with the new Sauber C23 which was unveiled last Monday.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella impressed on the first proper day of testing with the new Sauber C23 which was unveiled last Monday.

After completing the car's roll-out yesterday at the Valencia circuit, the Italian driver took to the track to carry out the first serious test with the new Petronas-powered car. Fisichella managed to complete a total of 80 laps, posting a quickest time of 1:10.530, around half a second off the track record.

"I must say that I'm very happy," admitted the Italian. "Usually it is difficult to do a lot of laps with a new car as there are often some problems here and there. But this was not the case today. Our absolutely highest target was to reach a lap time of 1:10.5 - and we achieved it!

"The car is good and I can feel that there is quite some potential. Still, I need to get more confident with it and we need to do more set-up work, but that's normal. Overall it's a good feeling to drive this car."

Fisichella's teammate Felipe Massa was also in action at Valencia, but the Brazilian was at the wheel of the old C22 car. Massa, who will drive the C23 tomorrow, covered 53 laps with a fastest time of 1:11.906.

"80 laps without technical problems, a quick lap time and a car that feels good," said chief race engineer Jacky Eeckelaert, "What else can you ask of the C23 on its second day on the track? For us it is a really good result and we are happy with the outcome. We have mainly worked with Bridgestone today and tested different tyre constructions, finding one which enhanced the car's handling balance.

"Experimentation with the set-up was also an important part of today's programme as we assessed the car's sensitivity to parameter changes. Felipe tested a new damper system with the C22, which had previously been evaluated on our seven-post rig in Hinwil. Its characteristics enhance traction and we will apply it to the C23 and assess it further in our forthcoming tests."

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