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Australia GP: Race notes - BMW

NEWS STORY
02/04/2006

In a breathtaking Australian Grand Prix, the BMW Sauber F1 Team not only brought both of its BMW Sauber F1.06s home to the finish, but scored points with each as Nick Heidfeld finished fourth, and Jacques Villeneuve sixth.

Nick Heidfeld: I am really happy about this result. We were already competitive in practice but we were even stronger in the race. I think it's fantastic for a new team having both cars in the points, especially considering where Jacques started. My only problem was that I couldn't get heat into the tyres immediately after each safety car period; it was particularly bad after the last one when Kimi was all over me, and we touched lightly in Turn 4. I then braked too late for Turn 6 because the front tyres were still not up to temperature, and as I ran wide he was able to pass me. So was Ralf, within metres of yellow flags. My compliments to the pit crew, who did a fabulous job.

Jacques Villeneuve: Starting from 19th place with a full tank and finishing sixth is obviously a lot better than I expected, so it was a very good race for me. The only problem I had was warming up the tyres after the numerous safety car phases. We have to have a look at this to improve the situation, but otherwise our pace was good.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): It was a turbulent race with many exciting moments. We are proud that we were able to bring both cars home in the points for the first time. Nick ran amongst the front-runners throughout the race, while our decision proved correct to start Jacques with a full tank from his 19th place on the grid. Congratulations to the entire team, not only here at the track but back in Munich and Hinwil too.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director Chassis): The race was extremely thrilling. We opted for two different strategies, with Nick on two stops and Jacques on one because of his starting position. Both strategies paid off. In Nick's case we brought the second stop forward because of the safety car period and as he thus had a relatively high amount of fuel still aboard we were able to rejoin the race quicker and gain positions. Overall we are happy with the performance of our cars, as well as today's results and the championship points we scored.

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