Nick Heidfeld is not expecting BMW to deviate from their status as the 'third-best' team in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, despite a strong start for both himself and Robert Kubica that suggests otherwise.

Steadfast in their roles as fifth and sixth in the standings, BMW have often featured on the cusp of the 'big two' this year but are not quite considered alongside McLaren and Ferrari yet.

Nonetheless, the unique characteristics of the Hungaroring give them a chance to potentially make a difference, and when Kubica produced the fastest lap time in the morning session it seemed they could be more a feature this weekend than initially predicted.

Much of that was due to the decision to place 'super-soft' tyres onto his car, but with Nick Heidfeld also managing the fifth best times in the afternoon too, BMW generally look strong once again.

Nonetheless, the German played down the team's pace, instead highlighting the problems with tyre graining they are likely to have this weekend.

"For us the sessions went well. We had no technical problems and got all the work done. But it is very difficult to get the tyres to work properly. Graining is an issue. As far as I could see, other drivers have the same problem. I think the order between the top teams remains the same here. Compared to last year's F1.06, this year's car obviously performs better on high downforce circuits like Monaco or Budapest."

Kubica meanwhile marked his first anniversary in Formula 1 with the fastest time in the morning, before producing a far more conservative tenth in the afternoon. Nonetheless, the Pole was satisfied with the progress made.

"The day was quite good. We did a lot of laps to see how the tyres performed. Here in Hungary we use the softest tyre compound of the season, just like in Monaco. Therefore, we completed a lot of long runs to see how the soft tyres behave over the distance. We now have a lot of data that we are going to analyse for tomorrow. So far so good. The track conditions were not ideal today. Off the line it is quite dirty, but this situation is the same for everybody."

 

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