The BMW Sauber F1 Team finished the first race of the European Formula 1 season in Imola with their drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld 12th and 13th respectively. Jacques Villeneuve: "It was not that exciting because I had a problem...
The BMW Sauber F1 Team finished the first race of the European Formula 1 season in Imola with their drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld 12th and 13th respectively.
"It was not that exciting because I had a problem in the first pit stop. We were not as competitive as we expected. However, the balance was good and with this we should have been able to do some quick laps. The start was bad but then the first corner was okay. For the next race we have a new engine and that should help a lot, which is important as we are racing in Germany."
"This was a disappointing race for us especially as I had expected our race pace to be higher. But unfortunately this was not the case. My start was okay but still I couldnt gain positions. One of my main problems was lack of grip, but at the second pit stop we changed the front wing settings and the tyre pressures so the last stint was a little bit better."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"Over this Imola weekend only the free practice on Friday was really good for us. Neither in qualifying nor during the race were the drivers able to set the lap times we expected. It was only in the last stint of the race that Jacques was able to match the speed of the top drivers at certain times."
"During Jacques first pit stop there was a problem when two wheel nuts got stuck, but even without this problem he would not have made it into the points. On the positive side for the first time this season our engines have completed two full race distances at the same time, so they have passed this test successfully.
Willy Rampf (Technical Director Chassis):
"Our average race speed was not as quick as we expected. After the second stops both drivers were quicker and happier with the balance of the cars, but in the middle of the race we were far to slow. We have to analyse these fluctuating lap times. Jacques had a slow first pit stop due to sticking wheel nuts and this lost him approximately 15 seconds."
Jacques Villeneuve: 12th
Chassis: BMW Sauber F1.06-02
Engine: BMW P86
Fastest lap: 1:25.438s, lap 53 (eighth fastest overall)
Nick Heidfeld: 13th
Chassis: BMW Sauber F1.06-03
Engine: BMW P86
Fastest lap: 1:25.996s, lap 53 (twelfth fastest overall)