Malaysian GP: BMW Sauber qualifying report

Weather: dry, 33-29 air, 47-36C track, 63-80 % humidity Sepang (MAL). In the heat of the Sepang International Circuit Robert Kubica qualified eighth for the PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix. His team-mate in the BMW Sauber F1 Team, Nick Heidfeld,...

Weather: dry, 33-29 air, 47-36C track, 63-80 % humidity

Sepang (MAL). In the heat of the Sepang International Circuit Robert Kubica qualified eighth for the PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix. His team-mate in the BMW Sauber F1 Team, Nick Heidfeld, just missed the top ten qualifying and came 11th. Due to penalties for other drivers, Robert gains two and Nick one position.

Robert Kubica:
BMW Sauber F1.09-05 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying: 8th, 1.36.106 min (3rd Practice: 11th, 1.36.563 min)

"I'm satisfied with what I was able to achieve today. Although we didn't make any major changes after free practice the car was bottoming quite a lot, which made it unstable and therefore not easy to drive. I did what I could in the corners, but the straights are long here and give the drivers who are using a KERS a major advantage. I have to start on the dirty side of the track plus I have some cars with a KERS behind me, which will make the start very interesting."

Nick Heidfeld:
BMW Sauber F1.09-04 / BMW P86/9 (KERS)
Qualifying: 11th, 1.34.769 min in Q2 / (3rd Practice: 15th 1.37.026 min)

"Of course I'm very disappointed. I looked fairly safe in Q2 when I was seventh, but on my second quick run I had traffic on the out lap. Two cars in front of me and one behind meant that I couldn't go at the pace needed to heat the tyres up, and then the important lap wasn't good enough. After we did the comparison yesterday I was using the KERS today and it helped, especially in sector one where I was the fastest car for most of the time."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"The rain that was expected for qualifying didn't come, and the result confirms the picture we already saw emerging in Melbourne. It remains difficult to break into the ranks of the teams with the two step diffusers. Having said this, we have to be satisfied with the positions we have achieved. Due to two drivers having penalties that will drop them down the grid, Robert and Nick will be starting from sixth and tenth. For tomorrow there is also a high chance of rain, which means the order could get mixed up during the race."

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering):

"We knew it would be very difficult, but nevertheless we hoped to get both our drivers into Q3. Unfortunately that didn't work out with Nick. Because of traffic on his final out lap he was not able to heat his tyres up properly. Robert was consistently doing well, and did the best he could. Being sixth is an acceptable grid position with our strategy."

-credit: bmw sauber

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