BMW-Sauber has vowed to bounce back from a disappointing qualifying effort in Monaco with a strong performance in the race as it bids to re-assert its standing as the third-best team in Formula 1 in 2007.

After showing well in Q2 - when they were respectively third and fourth-quickest - Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica fell back to seventh and eighth on the grid when it really counted, but both insist nothing is out of the question yet.

"We have improved the car since Thursday's practice and the lap times in Q2 were very promising," Heidfeld stressed, "but I am not too happy about grid position seven.

"In Q3 we had some minor problems. We changed over early to the soft tyres because there was some light rain which worried us. This meant the track conditions were not ideal and we had a little too much fuel on-board. On top of that I made a small mistake after the tunnel. From grid position seven you can't expect too much, but on the other hand in Monaco almost everything can happen."

Kubica echoed his team-mate's sentiments, feeling the team was getting more and more competitive as the weekend progressed.

"I am very happy about the car's performance," the Pole stated, "but not about the position. Let's see how we will be in the race compared to the others with our strategy. I am satisfied as in the morning because of the weather we couldn't do more running. In Q2 we were competitive, in Q3 less, but we will see. The car was good, much better balanced than Thursday, so I am really looking forward to the race as I think we are in good shape for it."

BMW-Sauber technical director Willy Rampf also remained confident, and hopeful the squad would be able to dramatically improve on its performance in the race from last year. In 2006 a troubled weekend resulted in a distant seventh place at the flag for Heidfeld, the German having started all the way back in 16th position.

"It was a turbulent qualifying session," the Austrian acknowledged. "Our lap times in Q2 were closer to the top than we expected, and based on this we decided on the fuel load for Q3. Because it started raining slightly in some parts of the track, we opted for relatively early runs, but with this strategy we obviously didn't make the best use of the constantly improving track conditions. This is a shame, but nothing is lost because anything can happen in the race here."

 

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