Kubica delighted with breakthrough BMW win 08 Jun 2008
He has been threatening it all season, and on Sunday Robert Kubica finally achieved it - Formula One victory. On the Montreal circuit where he survived that horrific accident last season, Kubica didnt put a foot wrong as he led home team mate Nick Heidfeld to record his, Polands and BMW Saubers maiden win in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Kubica started from the front row, but with Lewis Hamiltons polesitting McLaren looking significantly quicker, few had given the 23-year-old much chance of triumphing. However, when Hamilton orchestrated his own demise, crashing into Kimi Raikkonen in the pitlane, the race was at Kubicas mercy.
With his two main rivals out of contention, Heidfeld became Kubicas chief opposition. But the Germans one-stop strategy wasnt enough to keep him ahead of his two-stopping team mate. Kubica first passed his colleague, and then built a big enough margin to stay ahead following his final visit to the pits.
"I'm very happy at having won the first race for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. I'm also happy for Poland and all my fans. It was a very difficult race for me, said Kubica. I had just eight laps to increase the gap (over Heidfeld) to 21 seconds, which was a huge challenge.
I finally managed to get a 24 second lead, which meant I was able to stay ahead of Nick. From this moment on I took it a bit easier, but even then it's very easy to make a mistake, particularly because of the tarmac that was destroyed in some places. But it all worked out and I'm just happy!"
Heidfeld was quick to pay tribute to his team mate, despite the disappointment of missing out on victory: "Congratulations to Robert for winning this race, which he really deserved! Finishing second after starting from eighth is a great result, especially considering the difficult time I have had recently. Thanks a lot to the guys in Hinwil, who built me a new chassis after the accident I had with Alonso in Monaco!"
BMW Saubers one-two consolidates their second place in the constructors standings and the team are now just three points shy of leaders Ferrari.
"It is fantastic, I am overwhelmed, said Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director. It is difficult to find the right words. Today just everything worked well. We hoped for another podium here in Montreal, but would not have dreamed to get a one-two victory. Congratulations to Robert and Nick and to the entire team at home in Munich and Hinwil. Today we achieved a milestone. Both drivers worked with no errors and the strategies paid off. I think we will have to celebrate a lot today."
BMW Saubers maiden win comes in only their third season of Formula One competition, the German car giant having taken over Peter Saubers team in 2006.