Robert Kubica is not disheartened by BMW Sauber’s lack of pace in Magny Cours and insists he is happy with fifth place, despite relinquishing the lead in the drivers’ championship to Felipe Massa.
The Polish star, who only a fortnight ago in Canada was celebrating his maiden victory in Formula One, struggled with the handling of his BMW all weekend, the F1.08 seemingly adverse to the super smooth characteristics of the Circuit de Nevers in Magny-Cours.
The handling problems continued into the race and the best Kubica could manage was fifth place after losing out to Toyota’s Jarno Trulli at the start, and later Heikki Kovalainen, both of whom were fuelled longer than the Pole.
“We didn’t score as many points as we wanted to here in Magny-Cours,” rued BMW driver after the race. “Over the whole weekend we tried to minimize the problems we had, and we knew the race would be decided on the first lap.”
“At the start I tried to overtake Jarno Trulli, but did not manage it. I tried again in turn 5 on the outside, but it did not work out.”
“In the end I have to say I am pretty happy. I finished fifth, only 2 seconds away from the podium. We now have to analyse what happened here and see how we can improve for the next race.”
Nick Heidfeld, who somewhat embarrassingly for the Hinwil and Munich based-outfit failed to progress into Q3 yesterday, had an even more torrid time spending most of the race languishing in the wrong end of the mid-field.
“Having finished 13th is certainly a disappointing result,” lamented the German driver. “I lost two positions right at the start and could not get them back. Now we will concentrate on next week’s test in Silverstone and the forthcoming race there.”
Mario Theissen, BMW’s director of Motorsport admitted that there was little for the team to do following their atrocious result, other than to look forward to Silverstone in a fortnight’s time.
“Over the entire weekend here our package did not work perfectly,” explained the German. “Robert was stuck in traffic on his second stint and, therefore, lost his chance of a podium finish.”
“Nick lost two positions at the start. Neither driver ever had a realistic chance to attack. We had no technical problems, and the result is four points for our team. From now on we will prepare for the Silverstone race.”
BMW Sauber’s Technical Director Willy Rampf, concurred with Theissen that Kubica lost a lot of time stuck behind Jarno Trulli’s heavier Toyota, but he accepted that at the end of the day, the pace of the F1.08 was simply not there.
“When deciding on the race strategy, we focused on Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso,” explained Rampf. “Our goal was to put Robert into a position to finish on the podium.”
“However, in the second stint it was clear this would not work. He got stuck behind Trulli, who had a higher fuel load and was able to stay out longer than him.”
“At the same time, Heikki Kovalainen was able to close the gap to Robert and pass him during his second pit stop. Overall, our pace was not good enough during this weekend.”