BMW registered the most points it has ever scored in a single race in the French Grand Prix, with both Robert Kubica and team-mate Nick Heidfeld finishing strongly inside the top five for the Munich marque.

The nine points notched up by the pairing have served to further cement the outfit's third position in the constructors' title chase, with a 20-point advantage over rivals Renault eight races into the campaign. The duo were split by just seven seconds at the chequered flag, with Kubica in particular impressing on his comeback from his horrifying high-speed shunt in Montreal three weeks ago.

"This was a good race for the team with us finishing fourth and fifth," the Pole stated, "and it has been a very good weekend for me. It was a very quiet race. I made quite a good start but we were on the dirty side with Lewis Hamilton, so had no chance to overtake.

"After that I was close to him just once when he was coming out of the pits and we had a short fight, but he had new tyres, braked later into the hairpin and overtook me again. The last 20 laps were about bringing the car home for a good result for the team, as Lewis was a long way in front and Nick behind. The car was very good, physically and mentally I am 100 per cent and I could do another race right now."

By finishing fifth, team-mate Heidfeld took his points haul for the season up to 30, two more than his previous best back in 2005. The German seemed to be right in the thick of the action and under pressure race-long, waging a particularly fraught battle with reigning double world champion Fernando Alonso.

"I am very happy with the result," the 30-year-old enthused. "It was a great race for us, and we scored valuable points. At the start both Renaults went to the middle of the track; I tried to overtake Giancarlo Fisichella on the right hand side, but he moved over which was not correct.

"The fights with Fernando Alonso were a lot of fun and also useful for my result. At times I had to defend hard, but I think from both sides it was fair play. It was not easy to keep him behind me, especially as in the middle stint he was very fast with obviously a low fuel load. You should never discount Renault though as they are the reigning champions."

"After mixed emotions at the overseas races, today our team was 100 per cent back where it should be," added BMW Motorsport Director Dr Mario Theissen. "Robert put in a very good performance on his comeback and took fourth place, which this year seems to belong to us! Nick improved from seventh on the grid to fifth overall and had some exciting fights with Fernando Alonso.

"We didn't only score nine points, which was our best team result so far, but we also strengthened our third place in the constructors' championship. Congratulations to the drivers, the team here at the track and those in Hinwil and Munich."

 

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