Kubica In, Heidfeld Possibly Out

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The Friday before a Grand Prix is given to Formula One teams and this serves as a day to have their cars tested. BMW Sauber took advantage of the practice session to test their cars and their drivers as well. Kubica is finally back on the tracks after his high speed crash at the Canadian Grand Prix. While Kubica is confirmed to start for BMW Sauber, his teammate Nick Heidfeld may not be cleared due to back pains.

At the first practice session of the day, Robert Kubica posted the ninth fastest lap time of 1 minute and 16.338 seconds. The Polish Formula One driver who only suffered from a minor concussion and a sprained ankle after his 75-G crash has this to say about his practice sessions: "After starting the day with some steering problems, which meant missing the first hour of running, everything went smoothly this afternoon. We have nearly completed our program with quite a lot of set-up work. I am happy to be back in the car, we have to work for tomorrow, but generally the car's balance is not too bad."

At the afternoon practice session, Kubica was the twelfth fastest with a minute and 16.236 seconds on his fastest lap. Meanwhile, Heidfeld posted the seventh fastest lap time during the morning practice session with a lap time of 1 minute and 16.338 seconds. During the afternoon session though, Heidfeld's time declined. He posted his fastest lap time at 1 minute and 16.968 seconds as he became the 19th fastest driver at the afternoon practice session.

"The practice sessions have been okay so far and, anyway, I like driving on this circuit," said Heidfeld. The German Formula One driver pointed out that he is suffering from back pain. "I stopped early because I wanted to save my back. Last week at the Silverstone test I had some problems. I can still feel it and as a precaution I want to have it checked today."

It is expected that if Heidfeld will not be cleared by doctors and the team to race, Sebastian Vettel will take temporary driving duties of Heidfeld's BMW wheel bearing-equipped F1.07.

Willy Rampf, BMW Sauber's technical director, is visibly not satisfied with the way the practice session went for them. Rampf pointed out that they were not bale to complete all the programs they have planned. "Unfortunately we couldn't complete our program in its entirety, neither in the first nor in the second session," he said. "Today we have been focusing on the race preparation, did the tire comparison and tried different aerodynamic settings. We will use the third practice session to prepare for qualifying."

Meanwhile, Ferrari is looks to be back on top form as Kimi Raikkonen posted the fastest lap time in the morning practice session ahead of teammate Felipe Massa with a lap time of 1 minute and 15.382 seconds. In the afternoon session, it was Massa who posted the fastest lap time of 1 minute and 15.453 seconds ahead of Raikkonen.

Meanwhile McLaren's Fernando Alonso posted the third fastest lap time in the morning and eighth in the afternoon. His teammate and current driver's championship leader Lewis Hamilton suffered from a technical malfunction in his car. Hamilton posted the sixth fastest lap time in the morning practice session. In the afternoon, Hamilton's fastest lap time is only fourth among all the Formula One drivers who tested their cars.

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