Nick Heidfeld’s 7th place finish was heralded by the BMW-Sauber team as clear evidence of their improvements coming to fruition. Thanks to quick pit work, Heidfeld managed to jump Nico Rosberg during the last round of stops and also narrowly missed out on passing Massa’s slowing Ferrari.
However, the Grand Prix did not run smoothly for Robert Kubica who suffered from clutch problems and a lack of grip, throughout the race.
Nick Heidfeld – 7th: “It was a tough race but I think it was one of my better ones. I had hoped for points as a birthday present, but honestly didn’t really believe in this as I was starting from 13th. The start was the decisive time when I gained four positions. In the first corner I was hit from behind but luckily my car wasn’t damaged. It was not easy to defend my position against Kimi Raikkonen later on in the race, and our fight slowed me down, so I lost the contact with the front runners. Our pit crew did a fantastic job and got me in front of Nico Rosberg at my second pit stop. It is a great result for us and the race pace proved the new aero package is a clear improvement, which is very good news for the rest of the season.”
Robert Kubica – 11th: “At the start I lost several places due to a clutch problem. But that was only the beginning of a very difficult race. After the safety car period, my car had no grip at all. I just couldn’t push and the car was sliding all over the place. I really don’t understand what happened. Up to Q3 yesterday everything was going well, and the performance of the car was good, but today there was nothing I could do. We have to analyse what happened.”
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): “We made a come back for the start of the European season, although our situation after the first lap wasn’t that good. Robert got stuck in traffic at the start, lost five positions and was just able to avoid the early accident. Whereas Nick on the outside was able to gain some places. During the race it was our pit crew that did a great job and enabled Nick to get by another car with every pit stop. Two points for seventh place is not a big result, but it demonstrates the improved performance of the car with the new aero update. We can build on this.”
Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering): “The significant modifications we made to the F1.09 obviously brought us one step forward. After the accident at the start Nick moved up from P13 to P9, and later he was able to gain another two positions. This was also thanks to the fantastic work by the pit crew with two excellent pit stops. Robert was unlucky as he was squeezed in at the start and lost a lot of positions. During the race he wasn’t able to drive at his true pace for most of the time because he was stuck in traffic. Now it’s all about bringing the next development steps onto the car as quickly as possible.”