Japanese GP: BMW Sauber qualifying report

Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying, Saturday - 03.10.09 Weather: dry, sunny, 25-26o.C Air, 26-44o.C Track Suzuka (JP). The incident packed qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix took almost 90 minutes. The second part of qualifying was red flagged...

Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying, Saturday - 03.10.09
Weather: dry, sunny, 25-26o.C Air, 26-44o.C Track

Suzuka (JP). The incident packed qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix took almost 90 minutes. The second part of qualifying was red flagged twice and in the end yellow flags played an important role. Nick Heidfeld was the only driver from the BMW Sauber F1 Team to make it into the top ten qualifying. In Q3, which was interrupted by another accident, he improved to sixth. Robert Kubica was 13th fastest in the second part of qualifying.

Nick Heidfeld:
BMW Sauber F1.09-07 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 6th, 1:32.945 min (3rd Free Practice: 12th, 1:32.736min)

"I'm happy with my qualifying performance. I had a really good lap in Q3. I wasn't too optimistic for qualifying because in free practice this morning I struggled a bit with the set-up and had to go for a compromise. In Q2 I saw the yellow flags and lifted my foot off the pedal and raised an arm to indicate I had reduced speed where I was required to. I was a couple of tenths slower. Obviously it was a very strange qualifying. I have never known one before with so many accidents and I hope Timo is ok."

Robert Kubica:
BMW Sauber F1.09-08 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 13th, 1:32.341 min in Q2 (3rd Free Practice: 17th, 1:32.848 min)

"My qualifying was totally disappointing. All my flying laps in the second session were destroyed by red or yellow flags. In the entire fifteen minutes we were not able to do one quick timed lap. Qualifying for tomorrow's race in 13th is far from ideal. Suzuka is a fantastic track but overtaking isn't too easy here. It is how it is. I hope Timo is ok. I wish him all the best."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"I have not witnessed a qualifying with five accidents despite perfect weather conditions. First and foremost we hope that Timo Glock has not suffered any serious injuries. Several red flags also influenced our qualifying result. In the second session both Robert and Nick had to cancel their quickest flying lap. Nick narrowly made it into the top ten qualifying, while Robert had to retire after the second session. After the final break during the last qualifying session Nick managed to qualify in sixth. This is a good starting position for tomorrow's race."

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering):

"It was an incident packed and almost 90 minutes long qualifying with three red flags. The whole operation was handled without any mistakes by our crew. Nick being sixth is in a good position for tomorrow's race. We are satisfied with that and well prepared for the race. Robert was unlucky when he had to slow down in his last and decisive run in Q2 due to a yellow flag. He lost some valuable time there. We all hope that Timo is not seriously injured."

-credit: bmw

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