In preparation for the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team today concluded a three day test at the Valencia circuit, in Spain. Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia were on duty for the team and completed an intensive ...
In preparation for the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team today concluded a three day test at the Valencia circuit, in Spain. Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia were on duty for the team and completed an intensive schedule of development work on the interim FW26 chassis despite poor weather conditions. This week also represented the final test prior to the team's launch on Monday when the announcement of Mark Webber's team mate will be made.
Andy Priaulx joined the team on the last day of the test and successfully completed 64 laps of the Valencia circuit on his first outing in a current Formula One car. Priaulx's opportunity was afforded by BMW as a reward for claiming the 2004 European Touring Car Championship in a 320i with the BMW Team Great Britain.
Next season, Guernsey-based Priaulx will contest the new FIA World Touring Car Championship with BMW Great Britain.
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):
"This was our last test using the FW26C interim cars, during which Antonio and Nick worked on tyre testing for Michelin, traction control and general set-ups. Although the conditions were dry, it was cold and windy which made driving consistently difficult."
"However, we covered good mileage to improve the reliability on various parts. On the last day of the test, Andy Priaulx drove one of the FW26s. It was Andy's first time in a Formula One car and he handled himself well. We are currently in the middle of the build period for the FW27, in preparation for its first test next week, to be held in Valencia."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"In Valencia, we worked with the new BMW P84/5 engines, working on its set-up, practising starts and putting mileage on the units. Not every problem has been resolved yet, but we are working hard and the engine specification for Melbourne will shortly be running on the dyno."
"Finally, the performance of our European Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx, was pleasing. He drove 64 consistent laps and, had it not been for technical problems, he undoubtedly would have improved his lap times."
"First of all, I want to thank BMW and WilliamsF1 for giving me this unique opportunity. It was the first time for me behind the wheel of a current Formula One car and it was a great experience, and completely different in every respect to anything I have done in the past. In the weeks before the test, I did special exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist in order to prepare my neck muscles."
"It was worth every effort, as my neck hasn't hurt at all. A few weeks ago, I also arranged a test with my former Formula 3 team to refresh my left-food-braking, I'm pleased I did! I'd like to have achieved a better lap time, but, just as I went out on fresh tyres, testing was interrupted due to an incident by someone else on the track.