Heidfeld: Red Bull lead the way despite holding back

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The Independent Online

Nick Heidfeld yesterday suggested Red Bull have been sandbagging in testing which could spell trouble for the rivals of the Formula One world champions.

On the first day of the final five-day pre-season test ahead of the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix on 27 March, Red Bull's Mark Webber topped the timesheet. The Australian set a lap of 1 minute 25.544 seconds at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona – the time marginally quicker than the best posted by Ferrari's Felipe Massa on the final day of a four-day run last month.

Lotus Renault's Heidfeld, however, feels there is much more to come from Red Bull. He said: "I think they are still not showing everything. If you look at the sector times they still have something in their pocket. So from those at least, there might be even more that they are not showing.

"I still think they are leading the pack at the moment. By how much? That is the question."

After yesterday, Webber's advantage was 0.366sec to Jenson Button who declared himself much happier with his day's work after previous testing issues with the new McLaren. The Woking-based team had prompted considerable discussion earlier in the day when the car appeared with a bulbous nose, only for it later to emerge the device was assisting with future front-wing development.

Vitaly Petrov, who took over from team-mate Heidfeld in the afternoon due to the German suffering with a cold, was third quickest, fractionally slower than Button.