More PR from BMW

Sebastian Vettel, Italian GP 2006

Sebastian Vettel, Italian GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel is clearly a man that BMW want to use in the future as the Munich firm has been very carefully building up the youngster's profile in F1 with a series of good results in practice sessions in Turkey and now in Italy. It is clear that Vettel is a very competent driver, who has fitted straight into F1 but his showings thus far have been achieved with low fuel loads and new tyres. There is nothing wrong with a little perception management in modern F1 as the German press in particular is getting very excited about Vettel, which is just what BMW wants to see.

The 19-year-old ended the Friday afternoon session in Monza half a second faster than the two Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa, the pair being two-tenths faster than Williams test driver Alexander Wurz with the McLaren duo of Pedro de la Rosa and Kimi Raikkonen fifth and sixth quickest ahead of Nick Heidfeld (BMW), Fernando Alonso, Robert Kubica and Franck Montagny in his Super Aguri-Honda. The Japanese company is clearly pushing hard on the engine front with Anthony Davidson suffering his second blow-up of the day while Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button did not even venture out of pitlane.

Whether or nor the times are of any real significance was called into question by the showing of Montagny and Christijan Albers, who set the 11th fastest time of the day, ahead of Jarno Trulli's Toyota and the Williams in Nico Rosberg.