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‘Disappointed` BMW facing bleak F1 testing break.

BMW-Sauber has admitted that it is at a loss to explain its poor performance in last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix – a race in which the squad produced by some margin its worst showing of the 2008 season to-date.

Not only did the Munich and Hinwil-based concern surrender its second place in the constructors' world championship to McLaren-Mercedes, but neither Robert Kubica nor Nick Heidfeld seemed to have any great pace at all as the duo finished respectively eighth and tenth in Budapest – the former slipping a full four places back from his second row starting spot.

“That was a difficult race,” Kubica reflected with a hint of understatement. “We were very slow, and I was struggling with the overall grip of the car. I had massive oversteer and could not really push. I was trying hard to keep the car on the track. Anyway, one point is better than nothing.”

“My start wasn't perfect, but okay,” added Heidfeld, who came home just under 20 seconds adrift of his team-mate after running an audacious one-stop strategy in a valiant bid to make up for his poor grid position. “As I had hoped, I was able to overtake three cars on the first lap, but later it became more difficult than expected to race with the heavy car.

“We went for a one-stop strategy, so my car was almost full of fuel at the start and I also had to take care of the tyres. I couldn't match the pace of the cars in front of me. Now we have to analyse the lack of race pace – normally this is one of our strengths!”

Both BMW Motorsport Director Dr Mario Theissen and the former Sauber squad's technical director Willy Rampf agreed that much work must now be done if the team is to recover its early-season form – when it secured six rostrum finishes, including its breakthrough victory in Montreal, from just the opening seven grands prix of the campaign.

“We were completely off the pace during the race,” acknowledged Theissen. “Neither driver was able to do the lap times we expected after the sessions on Friday and Saturday. It was the same on both tyre compounds. The reason for that is currently not clear, but we shall analyse everything.

“Of course we are very disappointed with Sunday's performance,” concurred Rampf. “Now we need to analyse why we were not able to match our qualifying performance during the race. We shall do this in the factories in Hinwil and Munich because, due to the testing break, we are not able to test before the next race in Valencia in three weeks.”


Related Pictures

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Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber.F1.08, French F1 Grand Prix, Magny Cours, France, 20th-22nd, June, 2008
Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 cockpit detail.
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Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 rear wing and engine cover detail.
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(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team with team mate Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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(L to R): Andrew Green (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Technical Director; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Development Driver and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): Andrew Green (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Technical Director; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team; Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal, and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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(L to R): Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner with Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): David Croft (GBR) Sky Sports Commentator with Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Development Driver; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Development Driver, with the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team, with the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team unveil the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team unveil the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer.
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(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team with Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer.
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Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner.
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