Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa finished in fifth and eighth places respectively after today's first free practice sessions for the Foster's Australian Grand Prix, the opening race of the 2002 season. Nick Heidfeld: "Obviously I'm happy so far.
Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa finished in fifth and eighth places respectively after today's first free practice sessions for the Foster's Australian Grand Prix, the opening race of the 2002 season.
"Obviously I'm happy so far. It's nice to be fifth quickest on the first day of the new season. I stopped at the end of this morning's session when a faulty sensor caused a warning light to come on, but the second session was fine apart from some brief rain. We didn't do everything that we wanted to today because of the weather, but the performance of the Sauber Petronas C21 confirms the good feelings I have had for the car all winter and my position is even better than I had hoped for."
"I think that's a pretty good start for me! The car was really nice today and I was able to learn the track very quickly. I was being very careful to get the first corner right, because otherwise it spoils the second corner as well if you make a mistake there. Everything went well, and I'm really happy. My aim is to qualify in the top 10, so this is a good foundation for me."
Peter Sauber (Team Principal):
"It's Friday again! But it is the start of a new season and I am quite happy with the whole day. Both drivers performed faultlessly, and Felipe especially did a great job for his first 'real' day as an F1 driver. It's not easy for a 20 year-old. The car was reliable and fast, and as usual the team was very efficient. It's good that we are all working so well together again at a race track."
Weather: Mainly dry but occasional rain.
Driver (Chassis) Free practice
Heidfeld (C21-02) 1:29.572s, 5th
Massa (C21-04) 1:29.937s, 8th