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Kubica and BMW Sauber top opening practice 14 Jul 2006

Upright wings on the BMW Sauber F1.06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, French Grand Prix, Preparations, Magny-Cours, France, 13 July 2006

Robert Kubica flew his vertically-winged BMW Sauber F1.06 to the fastest time in the first practice session here in Magny-Cours this morning. The Pole lapped in 1m 16.794s, which compares with Fernando Alonso’s 2005 pole position time of 1m 14.412s.

Anthony Davidson and Jenson Button were next up in their Hondas, the former running all morning and registering 1m 17.133s, the latter doing just four laps for 1m 18.160s. Ralf Schumacher also confined his lappery for Toyota, making only six circuits on his way to fourth fastest 1m 18.752s. Midland’s Friday tester Adrian Sutil, who hasn’t been seen since Nurburgring, again impressed with 1m 18.777s, as did Toro Rosso’s Neel Jani who lapped with his usual high fuel load in 1m 18.962s for sixth.

Alex Wurz took his Williams to seventh best time in 1m 19.055s, narrowly ahead of Jacques Villeneuve who pushed his BMW Sauber to 1m 19.063s in a brief run.

Robert Doornbos was Red Bull’s only runner, taking ninth on 1m 19.311s to edge out Williams’ Nico Rosberg, who lapped in 1m 19.401s. Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro appeared briefly at the end of the session; the Dutchman lapped in 1m 19.465s for Midland, his Portuguese team mate in 1m 20.335s. Separating them was Jarno Trulli with 1m 19.806s, the Italian putting his Toyota off briefly in Turn 5 on his first flying lap.

Everybody else either gave the session a miss or just did installation laps.