27 September 2009
Kubica: That was tough!
Robert Kubica described the solitary point he took from Singapore Grand Prix as 'the most difficult' he's ever scored after an action packed race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
The Pole had started seventh on the grid after qualifying ninth, benefiting from penalties given to Rubens Barrichello and his team mate Nick Heidfeld, but thanks to a mixture of bad luck and rear tyre degradation Kubica struggled to maintain his position.
“I was quite unlucky with the safety car period,” he said. “I lost a couple of positions as I had just refuelled before the safety car went out. On top of this we had a lot of problems with my car's rear tyre degradation. As a result the final ten to fifteen laps of my stint were very slow and, especially in the final stint, I had to defend my position extremely hard. In the end I must say this was the most difficult point I have scored in my whole life.”
After being relegated to the back of the grid for having an underweight car, BMW Sauber team-mate Nick Heidfeld then saw his record breaking run of 42 finishes in a row come to a cruel end after a collision with Adrian Sutil.
Speaking after the race Heidfeld laid the blame at the feet of his fellow countryman.
“For me it was clearly Adrian's fault,” he said. “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. That's something you just can't 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.”
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director, was also under no illusions about how tough the race had been for the team.
“That was a lot of hard work for a single point,” he said. “With Nick starting from the pit lane it was clear he would not be involved in the outcome of the race. Unfortunately eventually he was taken completely out of the race due to an accident which was not his fault. Robert, yet again, was unlucky as the safety car came out just after his first pit stop. Therefore he lost some positions. What we take from this race is the improved performance in qualifying. Now we have to fully exploit the potential of the car.”
Head of Engineering, Willy Rampf, added that a lack of race pace had made it difficult for points to be secured.
“Nick's start was very difficult as it was from the pit lane,” he said. “The accident, which was not his fault, ruined his race early on. Robert lost ground at the start. Later he was not able to fight back as our pace today was bad compared to our qualifying speed. Also Robert suffered from early tyre degradation. In the end he rewarded himself with one point, which he had to fight for really hard in the final laps.”
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