Saturday’s Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying marked a change of fortunes for the BMW-Sauber team. Making full use of the team’s new aero package, Robert Kubica was able to break into the top ten shoot out for the first time this season.
After destroying his car in the third Practice Session, Nick Heidfeld was also pleased with his Qualifying effort, lining up 13th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
The team are now confident that they can score points in tomorrow’s race.
Robert Kubica – 10th: “Qualifying started really well for me. I did two solid runs in Q1 and then an excellent one in Q2. The time was even good enough to take a little gamble. I only did one outing to save a set of tyres. This worked out, and it is a clear indication we have made progress with the performance of the car. But then in Q3 the car understeered heavily right from the beginning of the decisive lap. It was clear that something was wrong and I came back to the pits. It’s disappointing that this problem hindered me in getting the full potential out of the car.”
Nick Heidfeld – 13th: “It is good news that our car has obviously improved with the new aero package, so it is even more regrettable that I couldn’t get the most out of it. After I went off in turn twelve in this morning’s free practice and hit a tyre barrier I couldn’t do anymore running to prepare for qualifying. Predictions for the race are difficult and overtaking isn’t easy in Barcelona, but I still hope for points.”
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): “Today the performance of the car showed the upwards trend which we hoped for. Robert only had to do one run in Q2 to make it into the top ten. Then, however, in preparation for the decisive run in Q3 the team made a mistake while fitting the tyres. Nick missed Q3 by just a fraction. Obviously, the fact that he went off in the morning and lost some valuable time to set up the car also played a role.”
Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering): “The new aero package definitely proved to be a step forward. How big it is in comparison to the competition is something we now need to look at in detail. With Robert we were able to take a risk in Q2 when we left him in the garage after just one run in order to save a set of tyres, and it worked. But in Q3 he had to interrupt his final attempt because we made a mistake when fitting the tyres. Nick unfortunately just missed getting into the top ten. In tomorrow’s race we should be able to score some points.”