In advance of the Formula BMW World Final, BMW Sauber ran a full-day testing session at Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia today, with Christian Vietoris at the wheel at first, and Augusto Farfus taking over in mid-afternoon. Running on the full 4.005-km F1/MotoGP configuration, both Vietoris and Farfus had their first chance to take to the track in a Formula One car.
BMW now recognized his efforts with an F1 test, following in the footsteps of fellow BMW touring car aces Alessandro Zanardi, Andy Prialux, Dirk Muller and Jorg Muller.
"I haven't raced a single-seater car for four years - not to mention a Formula 1 car," Farfus explained. "At the beginning, I was obviously trying to become acquainted with the car. As I had very little time to prepare myself, I feel my neck muscles a bit more than usual. Lap by lap the feeling for this returned. It's just amazing how quickly things happen in a Formula 1 cockpit. This requires the highest level of concentration all the time!"
This year, Vietoris moved up to the German F3 championship, again with Josef Kaufmann Racing, and claimed two pole positions and a victory at Sachsenring. Not quite yet at the threshold of Formula One, the test was a memorable experience for the 18-year-old German.
"I have spent many years working towards the chance to drive a Formula 1 car," he explained. "The g-forces, braking effect and speed are simply phenomenal. This car is great fun to drive. It has certainly given me a more accurate impression of the unbelievable power and aerodynamics that are at work in Formula 1. Today's drive has made me even more determined to make it into the elite motor sport class."
The weekend's program now switches over to the Formula BMW World Finals, starting with practice and qualifying sessions tomorrow.