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European GP: Race notes - BMW

NEWS STORY
22/07/2007

After an extremely eventful European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, the BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, finished sixth and seventh. The drivers collided shortly after the start, which dropped them to the back of the field, but during the race they were able to move back into the points.

Nick Heidfeld: My start was not as good as usual and, unfortunately, in the first corner Robert forced me onto the dirt and then again in the second corner. This was when unluckily we touched and afterwards I had a damaged car. However, we have been lucky that the race was interrupted and we were able to repair the car. The team did a very good job. Later in the race I was stuck behind Robert, and it was only at the end when he made a mistake I was able to pass him. The accident with Ralf Schumacher was very unlucky. He was slow accelerating out of the chicane, at first left room for me, but closed the door once he realised I was there. Unfortunately at this point I was on the wet part of the track and couldn't avoid a collision.

Robert Kubica: I made a very good start, but in the second corner I think Nick arrived a bit too fast, he touched me and I spun. I was then last. It then started to rain and I asked the team if I should pit. I had no answer so I continued, which was wrong. The race was fun because the conditions were changing, but I had a very big problem with the braking, as every time the rear was just dancing and on wet tyres I could not stop the car. When Nick got by me on the last lap I just couldn't stop the car before the chicane and that is all. I didn't want to cut the chicane, but maybe I should have done, because in the end I nearly had to stop. It was challenging, as it was not only about the speed of the car but the speed of reaction of the team, and when to put on which tyres. The race result could have been better but now we have to analyse everything.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): It was a turbulent race with two rain periods and a lot of hectic pit stops, ten in total for us. Our pit crew did an excellent job and was capable of handling this situation very well. Finishing sixth and seventh was not because of the weather conditions, the collision in the first lap was responsible for that. In the end that cost us a podium finish.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director): Following our strong performance in qualifying we are obviously disappointed with this result. For our team it started badly with Robert and Nick hitting each other in the second corner. Both cars were damaged as a result. On Nick's car we had to change the right front track rod, and on Robert's the rear wing endplate was damaged. After the re-start, both our drivers were stuck behind David Coulthard, but were not fast enough to overtake him. The fact that, despite all these problems, we managed to increase the gap to Renault in the constructors' championship doesn't make up for a bad race.

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