Heidfeld rolls out F1.07 in Spain

UPDATE Our Gary Parravani was on the scene and filed these photos:

There were smiling faces at the BMW Sauber F1 Team today. At 13:00 hrs the new BMW Sauber F1.07 left the garage for the very first time. It had its roll-out according to schedule at the Valencia circuit. Nick Heidfeld had the honor of completing the maiden laps under an overcast sky, but on a dry track. The F1.07 is the first 'real' BMW Sauber F1 Team car.

"Everything worked trouble free", said Heidfeld. "The car felt good right from the beginning, but also unfamiliar. Of course you don't go to the limit straight away with a brand new car. First you do systems' checks, you monitor temperatures and such things. During the first three laps I was one second quicker each lap. This obviously shows I was still far away from the limit, but it is also nice. I couldn't wait for this day. Within the last months in the factories in Hinwil and Munich everybody was working unbelievably hard. The team is full of ambition and motivation. We are facing an exciting season with quite a lot of unknown factors. During the three next days we will be doing serious testing with the F1.07."

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen commented: "The first day with the F1.07 went very well. It was a condensed presentation with a roll-out directly afterwards. The new car clocked up its first laps without any error. We are now armed for the first real test which will take place here in Valencia from Wednesday to Friday this week."

Willy Rampf, the team's Technical Director, added: "We are very happy the roll- out went without any technical problems. During the first outing we proved the systems are working. Now we have to do long-runs and see what data we collect when we monitor temperatures, pressures, etc. Tomorrow we will start with set-up work."

01/16/07 (GMM) Nick Heidfeld gave BMW-Sauber's newly-launched F1.07 its maiden track outing on Tuesday on a dry Valencia circuit in Spain.

Before slipping on his new blue and grey helmet livery, the 29-year-old German played down expectations for the jointly Hinwil and Munich-penned single seater.

"One can't expect too much, because the higher you go, the more rarefied the atmosphere," Heidfeld said.

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