Heidfeld debuts 2003 Sauber

Sauber's Nick Heidfeld has christened the new C22 at Barcelona today, making the Swiss squad only the second F1 team to get its 2003 challenger on track

Heidfeld debuts 2003 Sauber

Heidfeld completed 61 laps in the new machine and wound up two-tenths off the pace of team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen in a 2002 car. The car's planned debut at Fiorano was snowed off last week.

"After Fiorano this day was very good!" said Heidfeld. "We wanted to cover as much ground as possible, we wanted to do as much actual testing as we could.

"The car seems very stable, much more than last year's. Generally it has sharp oversteer which I like. The lap times are similar to last year's car but obviously we hope to go quicker than that. But it was the first day and we still have to work on set-up, engine mapping as well as the electronics and mechanical set-up.

"The gearbox was good straight away and my general feeling is that the car is very good."

Heidfeld was testing alongside new team mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen who spent the day running new electronics systems in last year's C21.

"I couldn't do much though," explained Frentzen, "because I managed to catch a cold just before the test and I feel terrible. Hopefully it will have gone by the time I get to test the new car on the last day (Wednesday).

"I have sat in the new car though and it fits much better. The cockpit is much bigger than last year's and there is no problem for me to move my arms and legs the way I want to." Frentzen has experienced problems fitting in the C21 which was designed around the smaller frames of Heidfeld and Felipe Massa."

Juan Pablo Montoya was quickest, driving last year's Williams BMW FW24 - the only other team in attendance. Williams test driver Marc Gene was second fastest running the new engine and gearbox. Ralf Schumacher also ran for five laps in the morning but stopped after pulling a muscle in his neck that he did not want to aggravate further.



Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW M 1m17.790s 46
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m18.394s 64
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber B 1m18.725s 37
Nick Heidfeld Sauber B 1m18.901s 61
Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW M 1m19.658s 5

Key
B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin

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Montoya Fastest; Sauber Happy with C22 - Barcelona

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