BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver Nick Heidfeld achieved the third quickest time in each of the first two free practice sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix. Today Nick took the entire responsibility for the team's set-up work and tyre evaluation whilst...
BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver Nick Heidfeld achieved the third quickest time in each of the first two free practice sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix. Today Nick took the entire responsibility for the team's set-up work and tyre evaluation whilst team-mate Mark Webber was forced to stay in the garage.
A routine inspection by BMW technicians of Heidfeld's engine, which was supposed to do its second GP this weekend discovered a defective exhaust valve. The fresh BMW P84/5 engine which was scheduled to be installed in Mark Webber's car for this weekend, is of the same specification. This faulty exhaust valve could cause retirement in the race and the team does naturally not want to take that risk.
Therefore, two engines of a new specification are being assembled in Munich and will be installed in the cars prior to the third free practice on Saturday. As a consequence, Nick is going to be penalised for the unscheduled engine change by loosing places on the grid but by not participating in Friday's practice, Mark avoided an unscheduled engine
"Our position looks quite good for the moment but despite this I wasn't completely happy with the balance of my car this morning so we changed a few things around for the afternoon and I was definitely happier with it. In fact we made some good steps forward."
"The fact that I am going to change my engine again tomorrow at least allowed me to do more laps than usual as I had to try to cover the programmes for both my car and Mark's car. The only negative thing at the moment is that obviously I will have to start my race from towards the back, due to the penalty."
"It seemed like a pretty good day for the guys and it was good that Nick had a smooth run and completed all of our programmes. I'll start with my job on track tomorrow and I'll try to catch up and get the most out of this weekend for qualifying and the race."
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):
"We have had a productive day with Nick. We went through the entire set-up programme, which gave us some good information for the race. We also went through the normal checks for the cooling of the engine and the brakes. Nick had some of the new aero parts on the car which worked fine. Tomorrow, we will fit the rest of the aero parts that we have developed for this race. Mark obviously didn't run due to the engine issue."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"We had an unusual Free Practice today. Nick has completed a huge programme very well and collected useful data for the team. The main job on the engine side is being done in Munich at the moment and the new engines are just about to undergo the dynotest. They will then leave for Barcelona and will be in the cars in time for the third Free Practice session tomorrow morning."
Chassis: FW27 06
(Spare car FW27 04)
Practice session 1: 3rd (1:17.047 min)
Practice session 2: 3rd (1:16.527 min)
Chassis: FW27 05