Kimi Räikkönen and Nick Heidfeld finished in seventh and 16th places respectively after today’s first free practice sessions for the Italian Grand Prix, despite both suffering accidents which prevented them completing the morning’s session or running in the afternoon. Both drivers were unharmed, and both monocoques were structurally undamaged.

Nick Heidfeld
“I was pleased with the C20’s speed this morning, as it confirmed my expectations of the car at this circuit. Unfortunately, going into the second Lesmo I couldn’t get the car to turn in as the brakes locked, and it hit the barrier quite hard after sliding across the gravel trap.”
Kimi Räikkönen
“The car felt very good in my brief run this morning, but going down to the first chicane it got out of shape and I hit the barriers at high speed. I’m okay, but I don’t really know what happened. Everything seemed normal until the rear brakes locked. I guess I was lucky to avoid Alex Yoong’s parked Minardi, but I’m very disappointed not to be able to run again today.”

Peter Sauber (Team Principal)
“Prior to our problems today both Kimi and Nick were very fast, which confirms our belief in the Red Bull Sauber Petronas C20’s potential at this track. After the first session we were still fourth and seventh fastest. I am confident they will be able to demonstrate similar performance again tomorrow.”

Willy Rampf (Technical Director)
“Our problems today were down to the low grip level of the track at the start of the day’s running, which led to a brake locking problem. We will be able to repair both cars, and are encouraged that Nick was fastest through the speed trap and was able to retain eighth fastest time.”

-Sauber