BMW Sauber F1 Team - Japanese GP - Qualifying

(PresseBox) ( München, )
Weather: wet in the morning, dry for qualifying, 20-24°C Air, 22-25°C Track Fuji (JP). While Robert Kubica came sixth in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, Nick Heidfeld just missed getting into Q2 when he was 16th in Q1. In hindsight, the decision to stay on the harder tyre compound for his second run in Q1 was too big a risk for him. Robert Kubica: BMW Sauber F1.08-05 / BMW P86/8 Qualifying 6th, 1:18.979 min (3rd Practice: 1st, 1:25.087 min) "Yesterday we were struggling with low grip, so the rain last night and this morning definitely didn't help us as it washed away the rubber. The balance of the car was fine, but it was just lacking grip. I tried everything I could, and this was the best I could manage. Sixth is not bad under the circumstances." Nick Heidfeld: BMW Sauber F1.08-07 / BMW P86/8 Qualifying 16th, 1.18,835 min in Q1 (3. Training: 4th, 1.25,474 min) "Now we know it was the wrong decision to stay on the harder tyre compound for the second outing in Q1. After my initial run on the first set of those tyres, I knew I could improve on the Prime tyres, so we took the risk and put on another set. I actually did improve, I was about half a second quicker, but still it wasn't enough and I missed Q2 by one tenth of a second. Robert just made it. Of course from so far back on the grid it will be very difficult to do something in the race. But we have seen everything happen in Formula One and I shall never give up." Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): "Qualifying didn't go as we hoped it would. The main reason was we estimated incorrectly how the track conditions would improve, and their influence on the tyres in Q1. We sent both drivers out twice on the harder compound, while others were already changing to the softer tyres. The unexpected big difference between both compounds left us in the situation where Robert just made it into Q2 and Nick didn't. In the remaining qualifying sessions Robert put in the performance we were expecting and was 6th." Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "The most difficult part of today was the first session of qualifying, during which we planned to use the harder of the two tyre compounds. We wanted to have enough sets of the softer one for the remainder of qualifying and for the race. This decision cost Nick a place in Q2. It will be difficult to score points from 16th. Robert's performance was strong and he managed to clinch sixth. This was what we realistically expected." For further information please visit the media website (press releases, press kits, images, TV footage) and the official team website (car, season, Race Club, team updates).
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