BMW Sauber F1 Team – Monaco GP – Race

Weather: Rain at the start, drying out later. Air: 19-21, Track: 19-22

Monte Carlo (MC). Lewis Hamilton recovered from an early contact with the barriers to win a frantic Monaco Grand Prix and take the lead in the drivers ‘ championship. Robert Kubica drove a clean race to take second ahead of Felipe Massa.

Finishing second in the most prestigious Grand Prix of the year, Robert Kubica made sure he took part in the podium celebrations held in the principality’s famous winners’ lounge. It was the team’s fourth podium this season and their eighth overall. Kubica’s team mate, Nick Heidfeld, who has four podiums to his credit, had a black Sunday. Having started from 12th he had improved to fifth when Fernando Alonso (Renault) hit the side of his car on lap 14. In the end Heidfeld brought his damaged F1.08 to the chequered flag in 14th and last place.

Robert Kubica: 2nd
BMW Sauber F1.08-03 / BMW P86/8
Fastest Lap: 1:17.933 min on lap 75 (5th fastest overall)
“I am very happy with the result. I didn’t expect us to have the pace to finish second. It was a great race with very difficult driving conditions, and we did not expect such heavy rain. I had visibility and tyre problems throughout the whole race. I was trying to do as few mistakes as possible, as it is very dangerous if you make a mistake here.“

Nick Heidfeld: 14th
BMW Sauber F1.08-05 / BMW P86/8
Fastest Lap: 1:20.251 min on lap 72 (14th fastest overall)
“After the awful qualifying yesterday the early laps of the race went very well for me, despite the tricky track conditions. I was up to fifth, but unfortunately Fernando Alonso made a mistake and crashed into the side of my car. This caused heavy damage to the left hand side of my car, and due to a puncture I had to pit. I was then last and, because of the damaged car, I had no chance at all to improve. It is a Sunday to forget. But this is not too easy.”

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
“We expected a drama here in Monaco and the Weather God gave it to us. It was essential to continuously adjust our race strategy according to the weather and the incidents on the track. With Robert this worked perfectly, so he was able to move up from fifth on the grid to second. Nick had an exceptionally good start and had fought his way through to fifth when his car was damaged in a collision. This dropped him out of the points. It was our fourth podium in 2008 and a strong performance from the team.”

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):
“This was not a race for the nervous. The conditions at the start were very difficult. Because of the uncertainty over the weather it was crucial to make the right tyre decision for the first stint. Robert stayed cool and, even during the period with the worst visibility, he didn’t make any mistake. We continuously had to adapt our strategy, so it was a true challenge for the engineers on the pit wall. Nick gained a lot of places after the start, and was doing well in the race in fifth when he was the victim of a crash and ended up at the back of the pack in a hopeless situation. After the fourth podium this year we are quite happy with the amount of points we have scored in the first third of the season.”

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