F1

Chinese GP: BMW Sauber Friday practice notes

After the first day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, during which the best times were set in damp conditions, the BMW Sauber F1 Team's test and reserve driver, Sebastian Vettel, was second quickest on his first visit to the state of the...

After the first day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, during which the best times were set in damp conditions, the BMW Sauber F1 Team's test and reserve driver, Sebastian Vettel, was second quickest on his first visit to the state of the art Shanghai track.

Sebastian Vettel:

"The second session was much better than the first, as in this one the track was extremely slippery. The practice sessions for the support races obviously put down rubber and increased the grip, and we also made a clear step forward with the car. Therefore, in the second session the car felt more familiar and the consistency was back. The circuit itself is very complicated, especially the first corner and the hairpin after the straight, however, I feel comfortable. Now we have to see how the track conditions develop."

Nick Heidfeld:

"In the first session I only did an installation lap. In the second session, after the track had been declared wet, I scrubbed a few sets of tyres and towards the end I decided to continue for an extra couple of laps. The conditions were odd as I could see the rain drops on my visor but the grip was still there."

Robert Kubica:

"It's a new track for me and I did a handful of laps this morning and then the same this afternoon. It seems okay, although we have a bit of work to do on set-up. This morning the track condition was not very good, but it was better in the afternoon despite the rain. We have to see how the track is tomorrow, and perhaps we will make some set-up changes."

"The track has some nice corners, with the first part difficult, especially corners one and two as you cannot see the apex and they are long corners. Generally it is a low grip track and we are sliding, but it is the same for everybody.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"As usual on Friday, most of the work load was done by Sebastian. In the morning the car's set-up was not perfect, but after changes there was a big improvement in the afternoon. It was astonishing what times were possible, particularly at the end when the track was wet. For us it was a day with no technical problems."

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"This was a free practice with an unusual finale. Although it started to rain the lap times were improving, and the fastest times were done at the very end as the grip improved, despite a damp track. Today's programme included race preparation and tyre comparison. We completed the programme, but for a final tyre decision we have to have a long, hard look at the data because the changing track conditions make it difficult to compare the lap times."

Sebastian Vettel
Chassis/engine: BMW Sauber F1.06-08/BMW P86
1st Practice: 7th, 1:37.913
2nd Practice: 2nd, 1:35.579

Nick Heidfeld
Chassis/engine: BMW Sauber F1.06-04/BMW P86
1st Practice: No Time
2nd Practice: 14th, 1:38.062

Robert Kubica
Chassis/engine: BMW Sauber F1.06-09/BMW P86
1st Practice: 8th, 1.38.062
2nd Practice: 22nd, 1:39.217

-credit: bmw sauber

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