Australian GP: BMW Sauber race notes

The BMW Sauber F1 Team started the 2007 season off in Melbourne with fourth place for Nick Heidfeld. However, a gearbox problem robbed the team of seeing both drivers in the points, as Robert Kubica retired on lap 36 while lying in fourth ...

The BMW Sauber F1 Team started the 2007 season off in Melbourne with fourth place for Nick Heidfeld. However, a gearbox problem robbed the team of seeing both drivers in the points, as Robert Kubica retired on lap 36 while lying in fourth place.

Nick Heidfeld:

"I had a very good start, which was an even better one than Kimi and managed to pass Fernando. Of course I hoped to stay in front of him, but realistically I knew the McLarens were quicker than us. Thinking about how happy we are, you should not forget where we came from as we started last season eighth in the constructors' championship. Our pace is really good and fourth is a super start to the season."

"I feel very sorry for the team with Robert's retirement, as he was also very strong. My tyre strategy to take the softer ones first was riskier. I knew after the first stop there was the danger of getting stuck in traffic, and this is what happened, but I took the risk anyway. The race was a lot of fun, but in the final laps I was a bit lonely. Mechanically my car was perfect."

Robert Kubica:

"My pace was good but unfortunately we had a gearbox problem. I was stuck in fifth gear and that was the end of my race. The only good thing is we know what the problem is and we now have to resolve it. In the race I was much heavier than Nick and was able to match his speed. My strategy was to attack towards the end of the race. My last stint was going to be very short, so I would have had an even better performance then, but unfortunately I didn't get that far."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Nick drove a good race and his fourth has earned us five points in the season curtain raiser. He was on soft tyres for the first stint and we didn't think they would last very long. In hindsight, we could have done a longer first stint."

"Robert was strong and showing the same pace as Nick when his gearbox stuck in fifth on lap 36. Now we have to focus on getting our reliability sorted out. The most important lesson today is we have been able to match our testing performance. We have clearly been the third fastest team, and that is a good baseline for the next races."

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Nick's fourth place is a very good result and reflects our qualifying performance, as we were the third quickest team in that. We ran our cars on different strategies as the new tyre regulation stipulates you have to use both compounds in the race."

"Another reason was the new Safety Car rule which says the pit lane will be closed until the cars are in their proper order on the track. You have to make sure you don't go into such a period with the cars on the same pit stop strategy. Nick was on the softer compound for the start and Robert would have used it at the end, which obviously didn't happen. Both our drivers were quick and strong."

Nick Heidfeld: 4th
Chassis/engine: BMW Sauber F1.07-05 / BMW P86/7
Fastest Lap: 1.26.722 min on lap 37 (6th fastest overall)

Robert Kubica: Retired
Chassis/engine: BMW Sauber F1.07-04 / BMW P86/7
Fastest Lap: 1.26.642 min on lap 19 (4th fastest overall)

-credit: bmw sauber

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Robert Kubica , Mario Theissen
Teams Sauber , McLaren