Italian GP: Race notes - BMW


Robert Kubica scored the tenth podium of the season for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. It was the sixth podium in 2008 for the Pole, who finished the exciting Italian Grand Prix third. Nick Heidfeld started from tenth and finished fifth in the wet race at the high speed Monza circuit.

Robert Kubica: I'm very happy to finish on the podium today! Yesterday qualifying was difficult when I was the first one not to make it into the top ten. The only advantage of this was I could choose my race strategy, and we decided to go for just one stop with a very long first stint. At the start the visibility was really bad. When the Safety Car went in after two laps, I overtook Nick before the first chicane without even seeing him. It was really dangerous. Then I was able to drive at my own pace, but towards the end of my first stint I was having problems with the tyres, obviously because the car had been very heavy. We were then lucky with our pit stop, because it was just the right time to change to intermediate tyres. From then on I was easily able to control my position on the track. Third place was a well deserved reward for the whole team. Congratulations to Sebastian and the Toro Rosso Team for winning here today!

Nick Heidfeld: Coming from tenth on the grid it is okay to finish fifth, but still my race wasn't ideal. Unfortunately I lost a place to Robert right at the start. It was the right decision to let us start behind the Safety Car. When it pulled off the visibility was still so poor that I braked much too early and Robert passed me. This time it was the team who made the tyre choice. I left it to my race engineer as on the pit wall they had a lot more information about the weather. It was absolutely right to go for intermediates. Today it was important to avoid mistakes and keep the car on the track. I'm happy I had the pace to keep Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton behind me at the end. Warmest congratulations to Sebastian and the Toro Rosso team, this was a fantastic victory.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): As expected, it was an action packed race, but not for the man in front. Under these difficult circumstances Toro Rosso had the best car, and Sebastian Vettel managed to score his and the team's maiden victory with this excellent performance. Hats off to them! For us as well it worked out perfectly today. The decisive part was the race strategy. We were able to pit late with both cars and changed to intermediates during our single pit stop. It was perfect timing, so both drivers were able to move up a lot of positions. Neither Robert nor Nick made a single mistake. Robert claimed the tenth podium finish for our team, Nick came in a strong sixth, and the team leaves Europe with another ten points in its pocket – Monza again was a good place for the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director): It was a very exciting race with a lot of overtaking manoeuvres and a great result for us. At the end of the European season we added another ten points to our tally. The good result is clearly due to the drivers who did a great job. Nick was one of the first drivers to change to intermediates, and Robert managed to climb on the podium under these difficult conditions. If you start the race from tenth and 11th on the grid and come home with ten points it is a great achievement. There were no technical problems. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso, who both did an excellent job today.

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    Published: 14/09/2008
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