Having been in contention for the drivers' title for much of the season, Robert Kubica saw his 2008 Formula One campaign end in disappointment after losing out on third place in the standings in the final race of the year.
In what turned out to be a disastrous finale for BMW Sauber, Kubica gambled on dry tyres at the start, but it proved to be the wrong call as he struggled for pace through the opening laps and then found himself stuck behind Adrian Sutil's Force India.
It didn't get any better for the Pole as the race progressed, and he risked incurring the wrath of some of the frontrunners when he started to un-lap himself in the closing stages – most notably getting involved in the battle for position between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
Indeed, it was as Kubica unlapped himself that Hamilton ran wide out of the penultimate turn and lost position to Vettel in a move that would have cost him the title had Timo Glock's dry weather tyre gamble not backfired following a late rain shower.
Kubica, who has been outspoken about Hamilton's driving this season, eventually finished the race outside the points in eleventh place, while a podium for Kimi Raikkonen allowed him to draw level with the BMW Sauber man in the points.
However, the Finn's superior finishing record means he takes third in the drivers' standings with Kubica demoted to fourth.
“Losing third place in the drivers' championship in the last race is definitely not the best situation,” Kubica admitted, “We made too many mistakes during the weekend and this is the result. Unfortunately, I started on dry tyres, as we had the wrong information about the track conditions.
“During the race, I was stuck behind Adrian Sutil for quite a long time. I managed to make up some positions in the final laps of the race, but it was too late. Congratulations to Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton!”
With Nick Heidfeld also outside the points, the race marked the first time since Brazil 2006 that the BMW Sauber team had failed to score on a grand prix weekend and technical director Willy Rampf admitted it had turned out to be a weekend to erase from the memory for the Hinwil-based squad.
“For our team, this was an end of season to forget,” he said, “With Robert, we gambled at the start with dry tyres, but the track was too wet. Therefore, he pitted immediately for a tyre change and, after this, found himself at the end of the field. From here, there was nothing he could do. Nick lost position right after the start, and even pitting earlier than others at the end of the race did not change the situation.
“Nevertheless, it was a very successful season for our team, and this race doesn't change this.”