Racers hit out at BMW’s Vettel policy

Wed, 17 January 2007, 10:15

BMW-Sauber’s two race drivers have broken ranks and hit out at the German squad’s plan to run rookie tester Sebastian Vettel in Friday practice sessions this year.

Germany’s Nick Heidfeld was the most outspoken of the pair as he and Robert Kubica addressed reporters at Valencia on Tuesday for the launch of the new ‘F1.07’.

“Luckily we will (each) not lose all of the Friday session, only half, but if you ask me that is already enough — I don’t like it,” he said.

The scrapping of the third-car rule for 2007 means that teams wishing to run a test driver in either 90 minute Friday session must sideline a race driver.

Unlike most other top teams, BMW plans to alternate Vettel, 19, between Heidfeld and Polish rookie Kubica’s race cars as part of a “team-building process”, according to BMW-Sauber chief Mario Theissen.

But 29-year-old Heidfeld criticised the BMW policy by saying it should only be used by struggling teams who need to sell the test slot.

Kubica, 22, agreed that sitting out a Friday session each weekend will be a disadvantage compared to rival teams.

He said: “(It will be troublesome) if you have problems setting up the car — it is always better when you drive the car yourself.”


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