Mario Theissen was full of praise for his team after BMW put in a solid performance in today’s qualifying session. Robert Kubica’s display proved that the team are moving forward, as the Pole managed to get into Q3.
For Nick Heidfeld qualifying was rather mixed. Although happy at the team’s marked improvement, the German was disappointed to miss out on the top ten shoot out. He will line up in 11th place for tomorrow’s race.
Robert Kubica – 10th: “Starting from P10 is definitely better than starting from P18 the way I did in Monaco. However, we still lack a bit of pace compared to the top cars. The track clearly suits our car better than the Monaco track did. However, we really have to fight tomorrow. Although the gap to the lead cars is quite close, there are a lot of cars between us and the front row. It will be difficult.”
Nick Heidfeld – 11th: “I have mixed feelings about today’s qualifying. On one hand it is annoying to miss the top ten qualifying by such a margin, but on the other I’m happy to see the progress we’ve made. The car was quick enough for Q3. I was seventh overall before my final outing in Q2 but then I was stuck in traffic on the last sector of my out lap. Given how the 2009 tyres are, this is enough to prevent them from heating up properly and consequently ruin your flying lap. Our new aero package with the double diffuser is obviously a step forward. This is not only compared to Monaco, but also to Barcelona where I scored two points after starting 13th on the grid.”
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): “We produced a solid performance in today’s qualifying. Obviously, our goal was, to get both cars into Q3, which didn’t quite work out. Today, once again, the whole field was very close. Nick missed Q3 by just five hundreds of a second, and Robert was finally tenth. What this means in terms of the race we will only see once we know the competitors’ strategy. On the positive side, in Q2, when all the drivers were running in the same conditions, the gap to the front runners was only just 0.4 of a second. This proves the new aero package has had a positive effect.”
Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering): “Today’s result confirms we have made a step in the right direction. However, if we want to fight for the top positions we have to bring updates of the same magnitude to the next races. Yesterday we were able to find a basic set-up for the new aero package, which was also important for the ongoing development of the car. For Robert and Nick it will not be easy to score points tomorrow.”