BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica was 'best of the rest' on Friday during practice for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, ending the day just seven hundredths of a second off the pacesetting Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

Kubica, who is competing on the 14th round in the championship with a special helmet - showing the Italian flag alongside his Polish national colours - enjoyed a trouble-free day.

Despite his pace though, he is hoping conditions will be more settled on Saturday and Sunday, after extreme rain marred FP1.

"We could not run our programme as planned due to the bad weather conditions - especially in the morning," he noted. "The conditions improved in the afternoon, although the drying track was still damp.

"With the conditions changing on every lap over the course of the session, evaluating the results is quite difficult. I hope we have better weather tomorrow."

Nick Heidfeld meanwhile also went well in the sister F1.08 and he was just 0.016 seconds slower, finishing the day third overall.

"The lap times don't look too bad, which was also the case when we were here for testing. But the balance of my car isn't as good yet as it was at the test," reflected the German, who was on the podium last time out at Spa.

"Certainly this has something to do with the lack of rubber on the tarmac after today's heavy rain. What happens with the weather over the weekend will prove crucial."

"As we were testing here in Monza recently, most of the set-up work and the tyre evaluation has been done before the weekend," BMW Sauber technical director Willy Rampf summed-up. "Today, our main concentration was on some fine-tuning for the car's set-up. I'm confident we should be quite competitive for the rest of the weekend."