Official Release: In the second night race in the history of Formula One Robert Kubica finished eighth and scored one point for the BMW Sauber F1 Team at the end of an action packed Singapore Grand Prix. Nick Heidfeld retired on lap 20 when another car crashed into his. This incident ended an impressive run for Heidfeld, as for the past 34 races without a break he has taken the chequered flag, and has been classified as a finisher 42 times in a row. He holds the record for both of these statistics.
Heidfeld, who was eighth fastest in qualifying, started from the pit lane. When his car was weighed after qualifying the team found that it was slightly under the minimum weight. The team reported its error with the ballast weights to the FIA. As the team found itself in this situation,it also decided to change the engine and gearbox on Heidfeld’s car. Heidfeld has now used his ninth engine of the season.
Robert Kubica: 8th / BMW Sauber F1.09-08 / BMW P86/9
“This was a very tough race. I was quite unlucky with the safety car period. I lost a couple of positions as I had just refuelled before the safety car went out. On top of this we had a lot of problems with my car’s rear tyre degradation. As a result the final ten to fifteen laps of my stint were very slow and, especially in the final stint, I had to defend my position extremely hard. In the end I must say this was the most difficult point I have scored in my whole life.”
Nick Heidfeld: Accident on lap 20 / BMW Sauber F1.09-07 / BMW P86/9
“For me it was clearly Adrian Sutil’s fault. Obviously I saw it from the inside and later also on TV. He had spun backwards and then just drove back onto the track and straight into my car. That’s something you just can’t do. I had no chance to avoid this accident. I was last with a lot of fuel on board. The speed at the back of the pack was very low and, therefore, I started to save fuel very early on as overtaking was impossible anyway. Although my chances were far from promising today, it is still annoying not to finish because of such a stupid incident.”
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
“That was a lot of hard work for a single point. With Nick starting from the pit lane it was clear he would not be involved in the outcome of the race. Unfortunately eventually he was taken completely out of the race due to an accident which was not his fault. Robert, yet again, was unlucky as the safety car came out just after his first pit stop. Therefore he lost some positions. What we take from this race is the improved performance in qualifying. Now we have to fully exploit the potential of the car.”
Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering):
“Nick’s start was very difficult as it was from the pit lane. The accident, which was not his fault, ruined his race early on. Robert lost ground at the start. Later he was not able to fight back as our pace today was bad compared to our qualifying speed. Also Robert suffered from early tyre degradation. In the end he rewarded himself with one point, which he had to fight for really hard in the final laps. ”