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Exclusive - Heidfeld and Kubica on 2007 13 Nov 2007

Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.07 leads Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.07.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Race, Nurburgring, Germany, Sunday, 22 July 2007 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber Formula One Testing, Day 1, Paul Ricard, France. 16 May 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Thrid place Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1 in Parc Ferme. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 5 August 2007 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.07 crashes.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2007 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1 and Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1 on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Race, Magny-Cours, France, Sunday, 1 July 2007

Even in their wildest imaginations BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica couldn’t have guessed how competitive the F1.07 would prove to be. With the team coming second in the constructors’ championship (albeit after the exclusion of McLaren) and Heidfeld and Kubica finishing fifth and sixth respectively in the driver standings, it has been a successful year all round for the two year-old squad.

There were some troubles, like the Polish driver’s brutal crash in Montreal, but overall this season’s positives have far outweighed the negatives. Here the BMW Sauber duo evaluate their seasons and describe what it felt like having the grid’s third-fastest car at their disposal…

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
Championship position: 5th (61 points)
Best race result: 2nd (x1), Best qualifying: 2nd (x1)

“My expectations in my second season with the BMW Sauber F1 Team have been exceeded by far. After the winter tests I had guessed it would be a much harder fight with Renault. But we were the third-strongest power immediately and our position in the constructors’ championship was secured very early on, as was my fifth place in the drivers’ championship.

“This season the highlights considerably outnumber the low points. Without making a real evaluation, my personal highlights were the third position on the grid in Australia and when I overtook Fernando (Alonso) in Bahrain. The latter because I got a lot of joyful feedback - not only from the team but also from many in the paddock, and from my fans via email!

“The second spot on the podium in Canada was something very special - probably much more for me individually than for everyone else. Robert’s accident and the chaotic circumstances of the race clearly had a much stronger impact. But to know that I was second fastest because of my own strength, and that our car had beaten two Ferraris and one McLaren, was fantastic. The podium in Hungary was the next high point. It was also in Hungary where - for the first time in our team history - I started the race from the front row. It is amazing to recap how many superb ‘first-time experiences’ this young team has already had!

“Aside from those highlights I also enjoyed some great wheel-to-wheel fights. I also enjoyed a feeling that I’ve never experienced in my career so far - to arrive at a race track knowing that I can make it into the points or even better. It is important for me to know that in many races and challenging situations, I pulled the maximum out of the car! We are definitely on the right track!”

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
Championship position: 6th (39 points)
Best race result: 4th (x3), Best qualifying: 4th (x2)

“For me the season has been both good and not so good. But when you look at what this young team has achieved it says a lot for all the hard work everyone has done. The good is the result we have in the constructors’ championship. To finish second, even though this was due to the disqualification of McLaren, is amazing for such a young team. I don’t think this has happened before to a team in only its second season. This shows just how hard everyone has worked back at the factories in Hinwil and Munich and also at the tracks for both racing and testing.

“However, the not so good is that I find my own end of season championship points’ tally quite disappointing. In my opinion, I could have done a lot better, but there were some technical problems that meant I didn’t score points. This is something that we must work on for 2008 and I know the team is already doing this.

“My crash in Montreal was also a low point for me. I don’t think about it now, but I know at the time I was both lucky and unlucky. Where I went off I was unlucky because of the angle the car hit the wall, without this it may not have been so bad. However, I was lucky as I came away without a scratch and within 24 hours, I felt ready to race again.

“On the positive side I was very happy with my performance in Monaco, if not the final position in the race, and then Hungary was also great for me. I think if I look back I have to be honest and say nothing could have changed the final outcome because Ferrari and McLaren were quicker than us, but it was nice to consistently be the third-quickest team.”