Heidfeld back on the podium

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Due to a perfect decision in the final stages of the Belgian GP, Nick Heidfeld claimed the ninth podium of the season for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. After 42 of the 44 laps Nick changed to wet weather tyres, and moved up from seventh to third. It was his fourth podium of the season.

His team-mate, Robert Kubica, had been ahead of him until he was delayed refuelling at his second pit stop. The pole had started from eighth and finished the action packed grand prix sixth. The BMW Sauber F1 Team has now scored 105 championship points. With five races to go in 2008, the team has so far four more points than in the entire 2007 season.

Nick Heidfeld: 3rd
BMW Sauber F1.08-07 / BMW P86/8
Fastest Lap: 1:49.067 min on lap 36 (7th fastest overall)
“I had a fantastic race weekend and I am very happy today. At the start I got off better than the guys in front of me. Then I decided to go for the outside line, but unfortunately Heikki Kovalainen crashed into my car. This can happen, and I was lucky my car wasn’t damaged. Of course I lost a lot of places. Later on in the race I was able to get some back, but then I got stuck in traffic. When the drizzle set in I was convinced it would be heavier on the next lap and decided to change to wet weather tyres. The team asked me if I meant what I said. When I left the pit lane after the stop I asked on the radio how many laps to go, and my engineer said this one and another one. As I couldn’t see any cars on the track I thought, oh this was probably the wrong decision, but then it paid off. It was a Hero or Zero decision.”

Robert Kubica: 6th
BMW Sauber F1.08-05 / BMW P86/8
Fastest Lap: 1:48.965 min on lap 36 (5th fastest overall)
“I am not happy with the result, as today I had the chance to finish on the podium. We had a problem during the second pit stop. I lost two or three positions and returned to the track behind Nick. When it started raining he went into the pits to change tyres. I could not do the same as it would have cost too much time because I was directly behind Nick, so it would have meant us coming into the pits together. Also I had no information about the weather as I had problems with my radio. We gave away points today. However, that’s racing.”

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: “It was a turbulent race – both immediately after the start and during the final laps. Nick was involved in a collision in turn 1 after the turmoil at the start and, like Robert, lost some positions. As a result, both cars dropped out of the points’ positions. After that the pit crew had problems connecting the nozzle during Robert’s second pit stop. Finally we recovered from these problems. Nick, his race engineer and our strategists took the right decision two laps before the end of the race by changing to wet weather tyres. The team’s ninth podium and Robert’s sixth place scored us nine points. With five races to go the team has 105 points, four more than in the entire 2007 season.”

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: “This was the most amazing race I have ever experienced. Up until two laps from the end everything was quite normal, but then things changed dramatically when it started raining. Nick radioed to the pits that he wanted to change tyres. He was the first driver to take this decision. The pit crew reacted quickly, and from then on he was the fastest man on the track and made up many places. He finally finished third. For Robert things, unfortunately, went wrong during the second pit stop when we had a problem when refuelling, which cost him several positions. However, overall it was a very good result for our team. We scored another podium finish and a total of nine points today.”