Chinese GP: BMW Sauber qualifying report

Weather: dry and sunny, 22-25C Air, 33-38C Track Shanghai (CN). The BMW Sauber F1 Team faces a challenging Chinese Grand Prix with Nick Heidfeld having missed the final qualifying session by just a hundredth of a second and Robert Kubica...

Weather: dry and sunny, 22-25C Air, 33-38C Track

Shanghai (CN). The BMW Sauber F1 Team faces a challenging Chinese Grand Prix with Nick Heidfeld having missed the final qualifying session by just a hundredth of a second and Robert Kubica starting from only 18th.

The evaluation of the data from Friday's Free Practice sessions indicated using KERS would not give Kubica's F1.09 a lap time advantage at the Shanghai International Circuit. The Pole will therefore not have KERS on his car for the rest of the weekend. Due to its advantage Heidfeld will go into the race with KERS.

Nick Heidfeld:
BMW Sauber F1.09-04 / BMW P86/9 (KERS)
Qualifying 11th, 1:35.975 min in Q2 (3rd Free Practice: 11th, 1:36.702 min)

"My first and quickest lap in Q2 was the best I could get out of the car, and it was a really good one. I was hoping to get an even better lap time on the second run just because the track conditions always improve during qualifying. But then for some reason with that set of Option tyres the grip wasn't there. We have to find out why that was. I missed the top ten qualifying by just one hundredth of a second, but nevertheless it is obvious we have a lack of pace. We hope an aerodynamic update, which will come for the Spanish Grand Prix, will help us. For now we have to get the most out of the situation and for tomorrow there is a chance for rain which would be great. We will think carefully about our race strategy now. As I'm out of the top ten I'm free to choose my fuel load."

Robert Kubica:
BMW Sauber F1.09-05 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 18th, 1:36.966 min in Q1 (3rd Free Practice: 12th, 1:36.742 min)

"The car had no grip and was not at all easy to drive. I struggled with the softer tyre compound. After this morning's session I didn't expect this at all, as the gap between softer and harder tyres was bigger then. Additionally I made a mistake braking in turn 12 which cost me my lap time."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Today's qualifying was very disappointing. Data evaluation from Free Practice indicated our car would not work on this track. Both drivers complained about lack of grip, and we didn't manage to solve this problem. Because of these circumstances, both drivers had difficulties driving a perfect lap. This also affected our grid positions. We now have to get the best out of our situation with a good race strategy."

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering):

"We expected something completely different after the results of the first two races. Of course with these disappointing starting positions we cannot be happy. In comparison to other teams, we have lost some ground. Now to get closer to the top we have to reduce the gap with an intensive development programme."

-credit: bmw sauber

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