Robert Kubica was pleased with his qualifying position after successfully overcoming the tests of a very wet Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying.
The Polish driver put his BMW eighth on the grid for tomorrow’s race and was surprised at just how competitive he was throughout the session.
Nick Heidfeld experienced a disasterous session after being caught out by the changing weather conditions and being eliminated in Q1. He will start nineteenth.
Robert Kubica – 8th: “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 – 19th: “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 1 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.”