Mixed fortunes for BMW Sauber in Belgium

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In the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit Nick Heidfeld finished fifth and scored another four points for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. His team-mate, Robert Kubica, fought his way from 14th on the grid to ninth and only just missed being in the points.

Nick Heidfeld: 5th BMW Sauber F1.07-08/BMW P86/7 (T-car F1.07.04) Fastest Lap: 1.48.663 min on lap 33 (5th fastest overall) “This time my start wasn’t good at all. In the first corner I tried to make up for it, but it didn’t work out. I was braking too late and in the end lost out and was on the outside of the pack. I knew I had to overtake Heikki Kovalainen because he was on a one stop strategy. It wasn’t easy but possible. When Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber refuelled a lot earlier than me it was clear I could finish ahead of them. Also my lap times were good when I had nobody in front of me and drove in clean air. Towards the end I was under no pressure so reduced the engine’s revs.“

Robert Kubica: 9th BMW Sauber F1.07-03/BMW P86/7 Fastest Lap: 1.48.894 min on lap 32 (6th fastest overall) “This is how it is as sometimes you push and get nothing. I didn’t do a very good start, but the race was how we expected it would be - very difficult. It was very difficult behind Heikki Kovalainen as they have much more top speed, so when I was behind him I could not even gain five metres. Also when I was behind David Coulthard after the first pit stop, I was much faster in the corners but as soon as we were on the straights it was not possible to stay behind him. I lost a lot of time as I was behind him for almost ten laps, and was running about two seconds a lap slower than I could have done.”

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: “We witnessed a good performance from our drivers today. Although Nick lost two positions at the start, during the race he improved from eighth to fifth. Robert made some very good manoeuvres, overtaking several cars on the track, although he was stuck in traffic for quite a while. He really deserved one point for his strong race, but gaining five positions and improving from P14 to P9 is good.”

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: “Nick lost two positions at the start, but very soon it was clear that this would have no influence on his result. He was considerably quicker than Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber, despite carrying more fuel, therefore, he was able to overtake them during his first pit stop. From this moment on he enjoyed a quiet race which he finished strongly in fifth. Robert had to start from P14 and showed fighting spirit right from the beginning. He overtook five cars in a few laps. However, after his first pit stop he got stuck behind the one-stoppers. In particular he lost a lot of time behind David Coulthard, which in the end was just a little too much to finish eighth. He really deserved to score a point.”