Press release BoxID: 261574 (BMW AG)
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Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying, Saturday - 09.05.09

Weather: dry and sunny, 20-23°C Air, 28-37°C Track

(PresseBox) (Barcelona, ) The new aerodynamic package meant an improvement to the BMW Sauber F1.09, but neither driver could get the most out of it for different reasons. Nick Heidfeld wasn't very well prepared for qualifying after he crashed in the morning's free practice. He came 13th. Robert Kubica made it into the top ten qualifying but couldn't improve on his last run due to a mistake by the team when fitting the tyres. The Pole qualified tenth for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Robert Kubica:

BMW Sauber F1.09-03 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 10th, 1:22.685 min (3rd Free Practice: 5th, 1:21.239 min)
"Qualifying started really well for me. I did two solid runs in Q1 and then an excellent one in Q2. The time was even good enough to take a little gamble. I only did one outing to save a set of tyres. This worked out, and it is a clear indication we have made progress with the performance of the car. But then in Q3 the car understeered heavily right from the beginning of the decisive lap. It was clear that something was wrong and I came back to the pits. It's disappointing that this problem hindered me in getting the full potential out of the car."

Nick Heidfeld:
BMW Sauber F1.09-06 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 13th, 1:20.676 min in Q2 (3rd Free Practice: 20th, 1:23.457 min)
"It is good news that our car has obviously improved with the new aero package, so it is even more regrettable that I couldn't get the most out of it. After I went off in turn twelve in this morning's free practice and hit a tyre barrier I couldn't do anymore running to prepare for qualifying. Predictions for the race are difficult and overtaking isn't easy in Barcelona, but I still hope for points."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Today the performance of the car showed the upwards trend which we hoped for. Robert only had to do one run in Q2 to make it into the top ten. Then, however, in preparation for the decisive run in Q3 the team made a mistake while fitting the tyres. Nick missed Q3 by just a fraction. Obviously, the fact that he went off in the morning and lost some valuable time to set up the car also played a role."

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering):

"The new aero package definitely proved to be a step forward. How big it is in comparison to the competition is something we now need to look at in detail. With Robert we were able to take a risk in Q2 when we left him in the garage after just one run in order to save a set of tyres, and it worked. But in Q3 he had to interrupt his final attempt because we made a mistake when fitting the tyres. Nick unfortunately just missed getting into the top ten. In tomorrow's race we should be able to score some points."