The BMW Sauber F1 Team focused on testing new components for the F1.09 in the first two free practice sessions for the European Grand Prix. In the heat of Valencia’s harbour circuit, Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld drove new light weight chassis which give a better ballast distribution. Besides eye catching new engine covers, both cars also had new undertrays.
While for Heidfeld a promising free practice session ended early after Fernando Alonso took him off, Kubica was seventh in the afternoon’s free practice.
BMW Sauber F1.09-08 / BMW P86/9
1st Free Practice: 12th, 1:43.419 min / 2nd Free Practice: 7th, 1:40.643 min
“We brought some new components to Valencia and tested these in both sessions. In the afternoon we concentrated on evaluating the tyre compounds on long runs. For me it was a Friday without problems. The grip on the track is quite good and we were able to go at quite a good pace. However, we still face the same problems with the car we have had since the beginning of the season.”
BMW Sauber F1.09-07 / BMW P86/9
1st Free Practice: 15th, 1:44.040 min / 2nd Free Practice: 17th, 1:41.350 min
“In the beginning of the second session it went quite well. Then with the softer tyres the timing wasn’t ideal as I got stuck in traffic. When Fernando Alonso crashed into me I had an early end to the session. Such a crash is really unnecessary during free practice. I saw him in the rear view mirror locking up his wheels and tried to open the door for him, but he went straight into me and I almost rolled.”
Willy Rampf, Head of Engineering: “Our goal today was to find a good set-up for our new aero-package. So far we are satisfied with what we achieved in the first two practice sessions. In the second session we concentrated on long-runs to get information about the performance of the tyres over that distance. Robert was able to complete his programme as planned without any problems, whereas Nick lost the chance to do the last scheduled tyre comparison because of a collision with Fernando Alonso.”