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Heidfeld on podium as BMW secure best-ever result 05 Aug 2007

Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1 celebrates third place. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 5 August 2007 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.07 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 5 August 2007 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 5 August 2007

As the battle for victory raged up front, BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld quietly and calmly secured his second podium of the season on Sunday as he held off McLaren’s Fernando Alonso to finish third at the Hungaroring. Coupled with Robert Kubica’s fifth place, it gave the team their best result to date.

Heidfeld inherited a front-row start after Alonso was demoted to sixth on the grid by the stewards, but was powerless to stop Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen blasting past into second place in the run down to Turn One, where the German also nearly lost third place to Williams’ Nico Rosberg.

However, from that point on, Heidfeld began to pull clear from the pack and only in the closing laps did he come under pressure from the recovering Alonso. But with overtaking so hard at the Hungaroring - and with the pace of the BMW only marginally below that of the McLaren - Heidfeld retained third place.

“This was a superb race for me. I was on the podium for the second time this year, and podiums were on our ‘to do’ list for this season,” said Heidfeld. “I had a bad start on the dirty side of the track and lost a place to Kimi Raikkonen, but anyway both Lewis Hamilton and he have clearly been faster today, so a better start would not have changed much.

“I had some difficulties with the second and third sets of tyres and it was not easy to race against a ’ghost’. Of course I knew I was racing Fernando Alonso but, due to the different strategies, he wasn’t visible to me. Fernando was faster than me almost everywhere and put me under pressure, but he didn’t have a proper chance to overtake as this is very difficult here."

Kubica claimed a further four points for the team in fifth. Like Heidfeld, the Polish driver adopted a three-stop strategy, eventually improving by two places on his P7 grid slot. Team principal Mario Theissen was delighted with the outcome.

“That was not only a great result points wise, but it was also the best result so far for our team,” enthused Theissen. “Nick third and on the podium and Robert fifth - that means ten important points. To date we have never managed to get more than that with the BMW Sauber F1 Team in a single race. That is fantastic.”

BMW Sauber’s ten-point haul means they extend their advantage over Renault in the fight for third place in the constructors’ championship, with 71 points to 33.