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Heidfeld hit by grid penalty 06 May 2005

Nick Heidfeld (GER) Williams BMW FW27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, 6 May 2005

Williams’ Nick Heidfeld will lose 10 places on the starting grid for the Spanish Grand Prix after the team decided they will change his engine ahead of Sunday’s race.

Engine partners BMW have discovered a problem with a defective exhaust valve on their V10 engines and two new-spec units are currently being assembled at the company’s Munich base.

These will be sent to Spain in time to be installed in Heidfeld’s and team mate Mark Webber’s cars for Saturday’s first practice session. In the mean time Heidfeld is carrying out all the team’s Friday set-up work, while Webber remains in the garage to avoid also incurring a penalty.

“The faulty exhaust valve could cause retirement in the race so we have therefore decided not to take that risk," confirmed BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen.

Webber was to start the Barcelona weekend with a new V10 anyway, while Heidfeld was due to run the same engine he used at Imola. It remains to be seen what disadvantage Webber will suffer from his lack of Friday running.