Kubica’s title hopes unravel

BMW ChinaBMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica will be hard-pressed to keep his title dreams burning in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after failing to make the qualifying shoot-out and dropping to twelfth on the grid.

Robert Kubica:
BMW Sauber F1.08-05 / BMW P86/8
Qualifying 12th, 1:35.814 min in Q2 (3rd Practice: 3rd, 1:36.150 min)
“A very disappointing qualifying! I was struggling with the balance of the car all weekend. We made some changes before qualifying, but they had a negative effect. The car was difficult to drive and I couldn t push as I wanted. I expect a tough race because now we are not allowed to change the set-up.”

Nick Heidfeld:
BMW Sauber F1.08-07 / BMW P86/8
Qualifying 7th, 1.37.201 min (3. Training: 1st, 1.36.061 min)
“I think this was the best I could manage today, and I m glad the positive trend in qualifying I had in the last three races has continued. I feel sorry for Robert. Apparently he struggled here and this grid position reduces his championship chances, but certainly we ll never give up.”

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was a disappointing qualifying for Robert and the whole team, especially because he didn t progress from Q2. Throughout the whole weekend Robert has not been happy with the balance of his car, and this did not change in qualifying. The only advantage in this situation is we can choose our own strategy for Robert tomorrow. From the team s point of view we are relying on Nick for our chances. He did a good job in Qualifying and managed to set the seventh best time.”

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):
“The result is obviously not what we were hoping for. With Robert we were not able to bring the good result from the third free practice into qualifying, which meant he was unhappy with the balance of his car and only ended up 12th. Nick did a good job and qualified where we expected him to be.”