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China GP: Qualifying notes - BMW

NEWS STORY
30/09/2006

For the sixth time in total and the third time in a row, the BMW Sauber F1 Team qualified with both cars in the top ten. Nick Heidfeld was eighth in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, while Robert Kubica finished ninth on Saturday afternoon in Shanghai.

Nick Heidfeld: Eighth position is a good result. Before the qualifying I didn't really believe we would make it into the top ten here. But then it went very well. The weather was good for us because the Michelin tyres are an advantage in the rain. In the second and quickest qualifying segment I was fourth, therefore, I was hoping for more in the final session. However, then the track was drying more and more and this didn't help our car. The important fact is we made it with both cars into the top ten and Toyota, our nearest competitor in the constructors' championship, is a long way behind.

Robert Kubica: For me this is the fourth time in four Grands Prix in the top ten. It was a good qualifying, especially as we had a small problem on the car this morning, so I couldn't run and my experience at this track is several laps yesterday. The conditions were not easy and, as they were changing, it was difficult to get the right line. However, I think it is not bad for my first time here. We can't realistically expect another podium tomorrow, but we will just have to wait and see what the conditions are like and at least hope to finish in the points.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): We are happy about this qualifying result. For the sixth time this year and the third consecutive race both drivers have been in third qualifying. Of course the qualifying was influenced by the weather and, therefore, the tyre strategy. Our team made the right decisions in this respect as well. We believe from grid positions eight and nine we have good chances in the race.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director): This performance today underlines the positive results from the recent races, and on top of that we have been in the top ten in the wet. We found a good set up compromise for these conditions, and perhaps the conditions in the race tomorrow might be similar to today. We can be optimistic for the race when we consider our strategy from eighth and ninth on the grid.

To check out our Shanghai qualifying gallery, click here

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