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Heidfeld unable to show `true pace` in Singapore.

Nick Heidfeld may have raced to his tenth points-scoring result of the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship in the sport's inaugural Singapore Grand Prix at the weekend – in the process lifting him to within a single marker of defending world champion Kimi Raikkonen in the drivers' standings – but he insisted he was frustrated at not having been able to finish higher up.

Though he qualified sixth – directly behind BMW-Sauber team-mate Robert Kubica, whose early promise was dashed by having to serve a stop-and-go penalty for pitting before the pit-lane had re-opened under the first safety car period, eventually taking the chequered flag in a distant eleventh place – Heidfeld was penalised three spots on the grid for having been deemed to have baulked Honda rival Rubens Barrichello in Q1.

From there the 31-year-old ran eighth during the opening stint – around a circuit on which overtaking was at something of a premium – rising to sixth position in the closing stages, tracking the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Sebastian Vettel all the way to the finish line.

“Although I shouldn't complain about finishing sixth when I came from ninth, I must say it is such a shame I couldn't show my pace,” the experienced German mused afterwards. “The car was so good and I could have gone a lot faster if I hadn't been stuck in traffic all the time.

“I was even saving fuel and tyres because I hoped the others would kill their tyres and I could attack later. I think some did ruin their rubber, but still this wasn't enough of an advantage to overtake. I had a good start during which I managed to pass Nico Rosberg. However, because of how the race turned out for me I hardly sweated at all.”

“The race was physically very hard,” countered Kubica, 17 seconds behind the sister F1.08 at the close. “There were so many bumps; I hope the organisers will work on the surface for next year. On top of that, the visibility was getting worse and worse as I was getting tired. Over the final 15 laps I had an incredible headache.

“The decision to pit on the first lap when the pit-lane was closed because of the safety car was unlucky, and cost me a good race result as the cars behind me closed the gap. The team thought the pit-lane would re-open very soon, but this was not the case. However, that's racing.”

The three points garnered by Heidfeld enabled the Munich and Hinwil-based outfit to remain just about in touch in the constructors' world championship, gaining ground on Ferrari but losing out to McLaren-Mercedes, with 15 markers now blanketing the top three teams ahead of the final three grands prix of the campaign – and 54 points left up for grabs.

“Another spectacular chapter was added to the Formula 1 history book,” stated BMW Motorsport Director Dr Mario Theissen. “The first night race was a total success – my compliments go to the organisers. The race itself was turbulent and influenced by the first safety car period.



Related Pictures

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Ian - Unregistered

September 29, 2008 5:33 PM

Excuse? To me, it seems like an under-fire Heidfeld is doing incredibly well by being only one point behind Kimi, and beating Kovalainen. Why dont Kimi and Kova retire first - they are worse drivers in better cars.

Frederick Hill

September 29, 2008 8:53 PM

What do you expect Nick when racing on a special B E slot track that is defined for Ferrari if they start first but do not suffer FM **** ups in the pits. If that is F1 then thank GOD for other sporting activities such as WSBK and MOTO GP that does not prohit overtaking.



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