Australian GP: BMW Sauber Friday practice notes

In practice for the Australian GP, BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers Robert Kubica, Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld finished third, 12th and 15th respectively. Robert Kubica: "After the engine problem this morning we had a pretty good second ...

In practice for the Australian GP, BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers Robert Kubica, Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld finished third, 12th and 15th respectively.

Robert Kubica:

"After the engine problem this morning we had a pretty good second session. We tried some promising aero solutions and were able to do consistent times in our long run. On my last outing I had some traffic, otherwise I would have been even quicker, but that is less important in a free practice session."

Jacques Villeneuve:

"The car seems to be competitive. One issue so far has been warming up the tyres, which should not be a problem in qualifying now that we can run more than one lap, or in the race, but it will be critical to be competitive then because of the penalty I will get for needing an engine change. That’s a pity, because the balance of the car is very good, and I’m really happy with its speed."

Nick Heidfeld:

"I don’t like these Friday sessions so much. This morning I just did an installation lap, and this afternoon just one outing with only a few laps. However, the car wasn’t too bad and was definitely better than the lap time suggests; I had traffic in the second sector and there were yellow flags in the third."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Robert had to stop the first practice prematurely due to an engine failure after 13 laps. Our whole focus is on reliability, but the time for development was too short. Over the winter our test engines of identical-specification covered the required distances without problem."

"However, our investigations into the breakages units after Bahrain and Malaysia revealed that some components have not met their required production tolerances. Our short-term reaction has been to build new engines with hand-selected components that best meet these rigorous requirements."

"We have two of these revised engines here. One is already installed in Nick’s car, and Jacques will get the second in time for qualifying after Saturday’s morning practice session. As a result he will lose 10 positions on the grid."

Willy Rampf (Technical Director Chassis):

"Apart from the engine problems, I’m quite happy with the performance that we demonstrated today. Robert did the tyre evaluation but also concentrated on set-up work, particularly for qualifying. Jacques focused on race preparation, while Nick just did a baseline run."

Robert Kubica
1st Practice: 9th, 1:29.576
2nd Practice: 3rd, 1:27.200

Jacques Villeneuve
1st Practice: 3rd, 1:28.595
2nd Practice: 12th, 1:28.440

Nick Heidfeld
1st Practice: No time
2nd Practice: 15th, 1:29.053

-bmwsauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Robert Kubica , Mario Theissen
Teams Sauber