BMW Sauber rue wretched Bahrain race 26 Apr 2009
Last season BMW Sauber left Bahrain with their first pole position, third and fourth-place finishes for drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld and the lead of the constructors championship. But on Sunday in Sakhir the story couldnt have been more different, with the pair finishing at the back of the field in 18th and 19th.
After a poor performance during qualifying (Kubica 13th, Heidfeld 14th), the German-Swiss team decided to put both drivers on one stop and start on the harder tyre. But their hopes of benefiting from the strategy came to an abrupt end when the duo became embroiled in a collision at the first corner with Williams Kazuki Nakajima.
My race was destroyed after corner one, explained Kubica. I was between Nick and another car, we touched each other and I destroyed my front wing. Then after the crash there was a miscommunication with the pit crew. I asked to come in straight away, but was only able to pit after the second lap. Then the race was very difficult, as for a long time I was in a heavy car on prime tyres. We were really nowhere with our pace.
The result is a disaster, although we were unlucky with the collision in the first corner, added Heidfeld. At first I thought the suspension was broken, but I only had to have a new nose fitted in the pits and then continued. The first half of the race with the harder tyres was difficult, but the softer compound made it a little bit easier. However, it is another race to forget and we all hope for improvements in Barcelona.
BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen commented: We knew it would be another difficult race weekend for us, and it was also clear the danger of a collision would be higher the further down the grid we were. As we feared, both our drivers had early collisions and as a result the race was practically over.
During the pit stops we gave them a lot of fuel and sent them out with hard tyres, because the only chance of getting back into the race would have been during a safety-car period. But even if this had happened scoring a point would have been impossible. We are now concentrating on the next race in Barcelona, where we will compete with a new aero package.
With just four points scored from their 2009 season, BMW Sauber lie sixth in the standings and are left with a substantial deficit to make up as they head to the Spanish Grand Prix later this month, with leaders Brawn GP already on 50.