Sutil fined, as Heidfeld laments first DNF in 35 races 27 Sep 2009
Although positive results for BMW Sauber this season have been thin on the ground, Nick Heidfeld has had one feather in his cap - his seemingly bullet-proof race consistency. On Sunday in Singapore, however, Heidfelds mammoth run of 42 consecutive classified finishes was brought to an end, thanks to a collision with Force Indias Adrian Sutil. It was the first time in 35 outings that he has failed to take the chequered flag.
On Lap 19 Sutil attempted to pass the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari, but spun. As he went to rejoin the chasing pack, he moved into the path of Heidfeld, who ran over the VJM02s nose. Heidfeld's race was over immediately with suspension damage, while his fellow German struggled on for a few more laps before retiring. Sutil was subsequently reprimanded and fined $20,000.
For me it was clearly Adrian Sutils fault, Heidfeld said after the race. Obviously I saw it from the inside and later also on TV. He had spun backwards and then just drove back onto the track and straight into my car. Thats something you just cant do. I had no chance to avoid this accident. I was last with a lot of fuel on board.
The speed at the back of the pack was very low and, therefore, I started to save fuel very early on as overtaking was impossible anyway. Although my chances were far from promising today, it is still annoying not to finish because of such a stupid incident.
Sutil admitted he was at fault, saying: "Nick came around the corner and hit my front wing as I was stuck in the corner. I didn't see him coming as I was on the move already and couldn't react to it, but I'm sorry for it. It was a race incident."
The last time Heidfeld was not classified in a race result was at the 2007 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis where his car succumbed to hydraulic problems.