Shanghai (CHN). In the Chinese Grand Prix the BMW Sauber F1 Team had to settle for two points for Nick Heidfeld. The German started the last lap of the race in fourth and became the victim of dubious manoeuvres. Robert Kubica was up to fifth...
Shanghai (CHN). In the Chinese Grand Prix the BMW Sauber F1 Team had to settle for two points for Nick Heidfeld. The German started the last lap of the race in fourth and became the victim of dubious manoeuvres. Robert Kubica was up to fifth before half distance, but then lost any chances of a good finish due to changing to dry tyres too early, and the Pole came 13th.
Nick Heidfeld: 7th:
This was the most disappointing race of my career - not only in F1 but in my entire life. Right up to the end I was certain I would be fourth, but then a few backmarkers caused trouble. The first one was Albers, who stayed on the dry line and didn't let me pass. I had to brake on the wet, almost spun, went on the grass and lost a few seconds. Then Super Aguri Honda driver, Sato, blocked me for almost a lap. He was fighting, although he was a lap behind, and using an advantage he had at this stage of the race due to his Bridgestone tyres. Because of this, the other two Hondas caught me and Albers and Sato were in the way. Barrichello crashed into the back of me and after this I had to be happy to make it to the finish. Before all this happened I was very quick today.
Robert Kubica: 13th:
The race was very difficult as already in the first corner I was hit, I think by Robert Doornbos, so I was at the back. After that I was doing a pretty good job, but I didn't know I was as quick as I was. Then unfortunately I risked putting on grooved tyres too early. It was impossible to drive, and I went off twice on one lap and lost a lot of time. I changed back to intermediates, and re-started behind Giancarlo Fisichella, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso and was keeping up with their pace. However, after this it was game over for me in the race.
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:
This race result is extremely disappointing for us. Nick was clearly on his way to fourth. In the final stages of the race he was slowed by lapped competitors and lost a four second advantage to the cars behind. One of these guys even hit the rear of his car. These incidents are under investigation by the Stewards. Robert was pushed off in the first corner, dropped back to 21st and then caught up in a very impressive way to fifth. At his first stop he asked for dry tyres, we took the risk but it was a mistake. The necessary second tyre stop threw him to the back of the field. Technically both cars ran without problems.
Willy Rampf, Technical Director:
Both drivers lost ground at the start, but regained positions in the race. We expected a wet track and, therefore, our strategy was for very long first stints. Compared to qualifying, the track was extremely slow to dry. At Robert's stop after lap 24 we knew it was a high risk to go to grooved tyres, but in agreement with him we did it and it was wrong. The track was still too wet, especially at the pit exit, so the tyres cooled down straight away and lost grip. It was clear we had to change again. For Nick the strategy paid off, as he drove stints one and two on intermediates and gained positions. He was fourth when the last lap started, therefore, the disappointment is enormous that he only finished seventh with a damaged car after the incidents on this lap.