Heidfeld first to arrive in Australia

Nick Heidfeld is the first of the Formula One field to arrive in Australia, nearly two weeks ahead of the Melbourne Grand Prix. BMW’s driver said he had made the trip early to allow himself time to adjust to the climate and time difference.

Talking to newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Heidfeld has insisted that BMW will probably not win the 2007 season, despite a good showing in pre-season testing. “I am not as optimistic as a lot of other people seem to think we are,” he said. He also warned that his car is quick, but other teams such as Ferrari and McLaren are quicker, plus his gearbox and hydraulics systems are not reliable as yet.

“It is clear that in the coming years I want to be world champion, hopefully with BMW. What we are seeing now are very good signs, but we are not going to be disappointed if we are not champions this year,” he explained.

Heidfeld also stated he hoped that Massa was the man to beat at Ferrari, amid a growing sense of respect for the talent Massa is now demonstrating. “In the first tests, Alonso was in front,” Heidfeld said. “But Ferrari is clearly now the strongest team. I like Felipe a lot and I could get to know him a lot better than I did with Kimi. I would be happy if Felipe drove out in front.”