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Kubica warns of danger from new car wings

BMW-SAUBER'S Robert Kubica fears Formula One's new-look wide front wings could trigger some serious accidents in the heat of battle this season unless drivers take extra care.

The Pole, who had a near-miraculous escape from a huge crash in Canada in 2007, told reporters after trying out his team's new F1.09 car in Spain on Tuesday that the wings posed particular problems.

Part of sweeping aerodynamic changes designed to make it easier for cars to overtake, the wings are 400mm wider and lower than what went before and cannot be seen by the driver from the cockpit. "With this huge front wing, wider than the tires...we have to be really careful not only at the first corner but especially when you think you have overtaken the guy and you close the line," said Kubica.

"Now you can easily take off his wing and this wing is quite huge and it will go under the car," he added. "We have to really watch out."

Kubica's Montreal crash was caused when he made contact with Italian Jarno Trulli's Toyota, with the BMW's front wing shearing off. The car lifted off at speed before slamming into a concrete wall and cartwheeling across the track.

The Pole also referred to Brazilian Luciano Burti, whose Prost penetrated the tire barriers at Spa in 2001 after a collision with former Jaguar teammate Eddie Irvine dislodged his car's front wing. Burti, lucky not to be killed in the impact, did not race in Formula One again.

Kubica said that even last season he had narrowly missed cars while braking into the first corner and adjusting to the wider wings would make it even harder to avoid impacts, especially in the first few races.

German teammate Nick Heidfeld agreed that the change would take time to get used to.

"If you've been in Formula One for a couple of years, you got used to the old wings and knew exactly where they were," he said.

"I could imagine that in situations where you have to act very quickly without a lot of thinking, when the cars are close together like at the start, we might see a few more touches."


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