BMW-Sauber drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica are optimistic they are on-track for a good result in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, despite what was a somewhat turbulent opening practice by the squad's usual standards.

Heidfeld ultimately wound up fifth after proving a constant feature in the upper reaches of the timing screens all day long. He admitted, however, the slippery track surface had not made things easy for the drivers.

"The conditions this year were particularly difficult," the German underlined. "As you could see there were many cars off the track. In the morning especially there was extremely little grip, which made the car very difficult to drive. We then made some set-up changes for the second session, but I'm still not 100 per cent happy.

"I didn't get either of the two tyre specs to work properly, neither on a single lap nor on a long run. Shortly before the end of the second session I hit the wall with the right hand-side of the car at the exit of turn four. It felt pretty hard and I'm surprised the car wasn't damaged.

"Also in the afternoon I went straight on at the chicane because of three guys going very slowly in order to create gaps for a clear lap. That's not a very clever thing to do on a part of the track that you approach at 300 km/h."

Team-mate Kubica was indeed one of the drivers Heidfeld referred to as being off the track, after a spectacular 360 through turn nine in the afternoon saw him come agonisingly close to touching the wall. What's more, that came on the back of a morning session that had been entirely written off by a fuel leak, leaving the Pole playing catch-up as he heads into Saturday practice and qualifying.

"It wasn't the easiest Friday," he acknowledged. "The car was quite difficult to drive. At the beginning of the afternoon running I had brake problems, and I made a mistake because of that. I went wide in one corner and spun but fortunately I didn't hit the wall that hard and so was able to continue.

"We have done some running, which is good, so we now have to wait to see which way to go with the set-up because certainly what we have at the moment is not the best. It's the first time this season on a low-downforce track, and normally last year we were more competitive in such conditions so I think if everything runs smoothly tomorrow we can be up where we normally are."

 

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