The first ever night practice sessions in Formula One history, that had been anticipated with a lot of excitement, went smoothly for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. Neither the lights nor the vision gave cause for any complaints, and the unique atmosphere for a Friday attracted an unusually large crowd for the free practice of the Singapore Grand Prix, which will be the BMW Sauber F1 Team’s 50th GP.
BMW Sauber F1.08-05 / BMW P86/8
1st Practice: 5th, 1:46.618 min / 2nd Practice: 6th, 1:46.384 min
“As expected the track is quite demanding – not only for the driver but also for the car. You are always going round corners and the surface is very bumpy, especially in two or three places. It is very important to have a stable car here as you can easily lose a lot of time in several corners. On the first lap I got used to the track and, as I was going at a good pace immediately, we were then able to start working on the set-up. In the second session we did the tyre comparison. Now we have to analyse the data and see what we have to change for tomorrow.”
BMW Sauber F1.08-07 / BMW P86/8
1st Practice: 8th, 1:46.964 min / 2nd Practice: 16th, 1:47.760 min
“Overall I had a good first practice day here, although my fastest lap from the second session doesn’t give that impression. The track is a lot of fun. It is much more of a street circuit than the new track in Valencia and is more challenging. Here it’s significantly narrower. When I walked the track on Wednesday night the straights appeared relatively long, but that’s not the case when you fly along at F1 speed. I found it easy to get used to the light. After one or two laps you forget it is artificial, although the brightness isn’t exactly the same everywhere. Bumps are an issue, and there are plenty! I have no problem adapting to the rhythm and turning night into day. I just stay awake long enough and then sleep until lunchtime so I can be fit in the late evenings.”
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: “This was a good start to what will become the most exceptional race weekend of the year. The atmosphere is fantastic, the style of the place is unique. Both drivers needed a few laps to familiarise themselves with the new circuit, and then, as usual, we were concentrating on race preparation. We have been doing some set up changes and will be analysing all the data tonight.”