Japanese GP: BMW Sauber Friday practice notes

The weather conditions for the first day of practice in Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix started with heavy rain and ended with a drying track and sunshine. BMW Team Sauber F1 Team test and reserve driver, Sebastian Vettel, was able to run the...

The weather conditions for the first day of practice in Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix started with heavy rain and ended with a drying track and sunshine. BMW Team Sauber F1 Team test and reserve driver, Sebastian Vettel, was able to run the car in many different conditions and after completing 50 laps, the most of any driver today, was sixth fastest overall. Meanwhile his team-mates, Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld, did very little running in the changing conditions.

Sebastian Vettel:

"The circuit is stunning, especially the first sector. In this morning's first free practice it was all about learning and evaluating the track with extreme wets as well as intermediates. In the second session I drove 19 consecutive laps at the start, and it was a good experience. When the track dried at the very end we managed two outings on grooved tyres. I had an awful lot of fun on this race track, and I really hope we can continue with this good momentum."

Robert Kubica:

"The track is very challenging and difficult but nice. We have only done three laps on grooved tyres, so we need to do a bit more running as the conditions were not good. Also I spent these laps watching where to go and which lines to take."

Nick Heidfeld:

"I almost didn't drive today, and in the first session in the morning only did one installation lap. In the second session in the afternoon I went out right at the end, basically to make sure all the systems were working. At the very end when everyone was on dry tyres obviously there was a lot of traffic, therefore, I didn't manage to set a good lap time.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"The focus of today's free practice was on the weather, and so over the two sessions we tested all available types of tyres. In the morning Sebastian used extreme wets first, and then intermediates because the conditions were changing during the hour."

"In the afternoon right up to ten minutes before the end of the session intermediates were used, and then everyone took dry tyres. Sebastian did a 19 lap run on intermediates, while in the morning Robert and Nick did just an installation lap each on these tyres. In the second free practice the two race drivers only went out with dry tyres. All three cars ran with no problems.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"When we realised the track conditions would not be constant we decided Sebastian should do as many laps as possible to learn the new circuit. By the end of the second session it was possible to go out on dry tyres. The first impressions we have from the tyres will be used in Saturday morning's session to find the set up for the race with different fuel loads.

Sebastian Vettel
Chassis/engine: BMW Sauber F1.06-08/BMW P86
1st Practice: 3rd, 1:46.585
2nd Practice: 6th, 1:34.912

Robert Kubica
Chassis/engine: BMW Sauber F1.06-09/BMW P86
1st Practice: No Time
2nd Practice: 18th, 1:36.299

Nick Heidfeld
Chassis/engine: BMW Sauber F1.06-04/BMW P86
1st Practice: No Time
2nd Practice: 27th, 1:38.779

-credit: bmw sauber

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Robert Kubica , Sebastian Vettel , Mario Theissen
Teams Sauber