Brazilian GP: BMW Sauber qualifying report

Interlagos (BR). After a wet qualifying session lasting two hours and 42 minutes the Brazilian crowd cheered local hero Rubens Barrichello for his pole position. The BMW Sauber F1 Team was left rather unhappy. Both drivers ended up below ...

Interlagos (BR). After a wet qualifying session lasting two hours and 42 minutes the Brazilian crowd cheered local hero Rubens Barrichello for his pole position. The BMW Sauber F1 Team was left rather unhappy. Both drivers ended up below expectations in qualifying. While Robert Kubica made it into Q3 and finished eighth, Nick Heidfeld was already out in Q1, mainly because the ride height proved to be too low for the amount of water on the track.

Robert Kubica:
BMW Sauber F1.09-08 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 8th, 1:20.631 min in Q3 (3rd Free Practice: 19th, 1:29.895 min)

"The conditions in this qualifying were really difficult. At one point there was so much water on the track that the car was almost undriveable. Fortunately, after the break, the conditions were a little better. We are running relatively low downforce, which was obviously delicate in these conditions. To my surprise, the car was quite competitive when it was very wet, and it was somewhat more difficult to drive with less water. I had too much understeer. The car is set up for a dry track, so we have to see what the weather will be like tomorrow."

Nick Heidfeld:
BMW Sauber F1.09-07 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 19th, 1:25.515 min in Q1 (3rd Free Practice: 9th, 1:24.867min)

"Of course it is very annoying to be out in Q1, but I simply had no chance. We certainly knew it would rain in qualifying and we put our ride height up, but it wasn't enough given the amount of water on the track. In a Formula One car you don't only get aquaplaning problems from the tyres, but also with the plank. That's not driving anymore, that is swimming. At the end of Q1 when I had changed to fresh tyres the conditions turned from bad to worse, which didn't help either."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Just like two weeks ago in Suzuka, Qualifying in Sao Paulo was again dominated by the weather. This was especially the case for the first and second parts of Qualifying. Nick was stuck in traffic at the same time Robert set his fastest lap. After that the conditions got worse, so he finally got stuck in Q1. For Robert everything went according to plan - up to his last attempt with intermediates. In the decisive run he lost time from turn seven, so he ended up eighth. Today more would have been possible."

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering):

"After qualifying in Suzuka lasted more than 90 minutes, there was another chaotic Saturday in Sao Paulo. First the third free practice was almost washed away by the water. Following this, qualifying had to be stopped several times and lasted for almost three hours. Nick was unfortunate to get stuck in Q1. Robert was one of the top contenders in Q1 and Q2, and also in Q3 things looked good until his last run. But after a good first sector on his final run he lost time and ended up eighth. Today, a position in the first two rows of the grid would have been possible."

-credit: bmw sauber

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