Pressemitteilung BoxID: 185112 (BMW AG)
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BMW Sauber F1Team French Grand Prix

Qualifying, Saturday – 21.06.08

(PresseBox) (München, ) Weather: sunny and dry, 23-27°C Air, 33-45°C Track Magny-Cours (FR). The BMW Sauber F1 Team had to cope with a rather disappointing qualifying result in Magny-Cours. Nick Heidfeld came 12th, while his team mate, Robert Kubica, just made it into the top ten of qualifying and in the end was seventh.

Robert Kubica: BMW Sauber F1.08-03 / BMW P86/8 Qualifying 7th, 1:17.037 min (3rd Practice: 14th, 1:16.617 min) "It looks like we are having a difficult weekend. After yesterday's free practice sessions I was expecting us to struggle. The balance of the car is not how I want it to be and my car has a poor overall grip. The gap to the top teams seems to have stayed the same, and at the same time the other teams obviously have made a big step forward. My goal now is to score as many points as possible in tomorrow's race, which certainly will not be easy."

Nick Heidfeld: BMW Sauber F1.08-07 / BMW P86/8 Qualifying 12th, 1:15.786 min (3rd Practice: 18th, 1:16.687 min) "The circuit here in Magny-Cours is completely different to the one in Montreal, and right from the beginning of the weekend here we were not as good as we have been recently. But still we were hoping for a better qualifying. I'm 12th and Robert just made it into the top ten of qualifying - this is, of course, not what we at the BMW Sauber F1 Team expect from ourselves. If I just look at my situation I can see significant progress. I was much closer to getting the best out of the car. There were just hundreds of a second between Robert's and my lap times. I will be starting from 11th because Lewis Hamilton has to move back, and I can choose my fuel strategy for the race. Although even the best strategy doesn't improve the pace, we want to have a good race tomorrow."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): "Of course we are not happy with the qualifying result. However, we saw in the free practice sessions our car is not as quick as usual. Nick was unlucky today. Although being just six hundreds of a second slower than Robert, he missed the top ten qualifying. Also Robert's qualifying did not run smoothly. We changed from harder to softer tyre compounds and then back to the harder ones. In the end, we just missed the second row. We will start the race from sixth and 11th. We will see after the first pit stops what we can achieve from these positions."

Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "This was a difficult qualifying that turned out to be a game of poker with the tyres. We were switching back and forth between the two compounds, but weren't really happy with either. The Option had more grip but less stability than the Prime. We obviously expected a better result. Nick was very close to Robert in Q2 but was just unlucky not to make it to Q3." 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).