Theissen welcomes BMW’s return to form

Dr Mario Theissen has praised the BMW-Sauber after a double points finish for the troubled team.

Both Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld signalled the German-Swiss outfit’s return to form, finishing together in fourth and fifth.

Robert Kubica – 4th: “I managed to make a good start and was second after the first corner. I was surprised to see Kimi next to me going through Eau Rouge. Approaching the fifth corner he braked very late and went off. It is a very tricky place. He came back on the track right in front of me and I played it safe as we saw a lot of accidents there over the weekend. Although we had a slight touch, I was able to continue. At times we lacked a bit of speed but, of course, it is good to be fighting for podiums again. The result means a lot of points for the team and is good. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to achieve anything better. The result proves we are quite competitive on low downforce tracks, which is a positive sign for Monza. However, we have to analyse why the car was more competitive and felt better during qualifying yesterday.”

Nick Heidfeld – 5th: “Although it is a good result for the team, I have to admit I’m disappointed. From third on the grid I had higher expectations, but I lost the race on the first lap. My thought pattern before the race went back and forth as to whether I should take the harder or the softer compound for the start. The harder was the quicker one but, of course, not the better one for heating up quickly. Because the sun was shining I went for the harder compound, and paid for it. After the start I tried to out brake Jarno on the inside of La Source, but I lost ground because the tyres weren’t warm enough. Up the hill to turn five several cars were in the gravel, including me, and that’s where I lost more positions. Later at my first pit stop I had to lock up the brakes in the pit lane to avoid crashing into Mark, who I was then able to immediately overtake on the track. In the last stint my pace was really good and I closed the gap to Robert. But, even though I was quicker than him, I couldn’t overtake because as soon as you are less than two seconds behind another car you start sliding due to losing downforce in the dirty air.”

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): “After our best qualifying this was also the best race result of the season. With fourth and fifth we were the only team that managed to get both cars into the top eight, and we scored nine championship points. Nick lost the chance of a podium position on the thrilling first lap. Robert damaged his front wing right at the beginning, but was able to continue. A big compliment to the whole team for this strong performance.”

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering): “We were all very excited before the start because we expected some action. And this happened exactly as expected. Unfortunately, Nick lost the advantage of his strong starting position in the chicane after the Kemmel straight. After this incident he was able to maintain a very good pace and he finally clinched fifth. Robert had contact with another car right at the beginning and lost part of his front wing. We checked the aero data and decided it would not make sense to bring him into the pits, which turned out to be the right decision. Today’s result is the reward for all our hard work during recent weeks.”

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