Manama, 23rd February 2007: The impressive pre-season performance of the BMW Sauber F1 Team shown in the wintry climes of Europe translated into blistering pace in Bahrain on the second day's running at the Home of Motorsport in the Middle...
Manama, 23rd February 2007: The impressive pre-season performance of the BMW Sauber F1 Team shown in the wintry climes of Europe translated into blistering pace in Bahrain on the second day's running at the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East. Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica sat atop the timesheets from early in the day, and although their rivals were snapping at their heels Heidfeld's time of 1m 30.4s around the 5.14km circuit is far and away the fastest lap recorded by a 2.4-litre V8 Formula One car and close to the all-time lap record set in 2004 by Michael Schumacher's 3.0-litre V10 Ferrari.
The BMW Sauber team has been perceived as one of the fastest in the pit lane, but reliability question marks recently prompted Heidfeld to declare that he would rather have a fast car to fix than a reliable car to make quick. Nonetheless the two Swiss-built racers clicked off over 200 laps between them in a day that saw still more delays and breakdowns up and down the field, including yesterday's pace-setter Felipe Massa with suspected transmission problems.
Meanwhile Fernando Alonso made his first on-track appearance of 2007 in the Kingdom of Bahrain, firing his MP4-22 up into second place on the timesheets, albeit three quarters of a second away from Heidfeld's pace. Alonso, like everyone else, set his flying time in the morning session. Heidfeld and Kubica, Honda's Jenson Button, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Super Aguri's Anthony Davidson all completed realistic Grand Prix distances in the afternoon running amid the stoppages for the less fortunate runners.
Nick Heidfeld - BMW Sauber F1 Team (1st )
"Today was a good day we did a race simulation which went problem free which was very satisfying for us as last time we had some technical problems in the winter runs but today went well and the speeds seemed good. We have 3 more days of testing here, one tomorrow then 2 days off and 2 more days after that. It is the most important test for us and for many I'm sure as it's the last big test before the start of the season. I'm really excited about the start of the season, it is very special to me the first race and also I enjoy Melbourne and at the moment the car is looking good."