BMW Sauber drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld, will be starting fourth and 11th on the grid respectively for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix. While Kubica was able to fight in all three qualifying sessions, Heidfeld just failed to get through to the top ten, admitting a number of mistakes.
Robert Kubica - 4th"I’m quite happy with fourth on the grid. Looking at the first practice sessions of the weekend, this was more than we expected. We made progress with the car, and I was able to put in some really good laps. In particular, my lap in Q2 was very good. Unfortunately on my second run in Q3 Nico Rosberg went wide in front of me in corner 14 and put some dust on the track. As a consequence my tyres lost massive grip in the final corners of that lap. Most probably I could have finished third, but still I’m satisfied with my performance."
Nick Heidfeld -11th"We have been improving the car in every session and in qualifying it was okay. Also my final lap in Q2 was okay until the last sector where I just didn’t get it right, and especially in the last corner I had too much oversteer. Eleventh is certainly not what I was aiming for after the winter tests were quite promising, but at least it is an advantage compared to tenth because I am now free to choose my fuel load. I am hoping for a good race and some points. Using the KERS might be a small advantage just after the start, although here the straight before the first corner isn’t really long.
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director"Robert had a fantastic qualifying and was up with the front-runners with both low and heavy fuel loads on his car. His fourth on the grid is more than we could have expected after the free practice sessions. Unfortunately Nick missed Q3 by a small margin. However, this gives us more opportunities for the race strategy, because from eleventh on the grid you are free to choose the amount of fuel for the race. Both cars ran without any technical problems. On top of this, our new pit crew did a great job."
Willy Rampf, Head of Engineering"Finally the first qualifying of 2009 is behind us and we have got an idea where everybody stands. In Q2, when everybody runs with a very low fuel level, Robert was among the fastest. This is very pleasing after the free practice results weren’t that promising. Nick on the other hand didn’t really get it right in Q2, and just missed the top ten qualifying. For tomorrow we expect similar track conditions and are looking forward to a very exciting race."