Nick Heidfeld recovered from a disappointing start to record another top five finish in the Belgian Grand Prix, the German almost certainly guaranteeing himself fifth place in the drivers' standings.

His ninth top five finish in 14 races, Heidfeld had to fight back from an uncustomary poor getaway which saw him fall to eighth when he out-braked himself into La Source for the first time.

Although he was held up by Heikki Kovalainen briefly, an important pass on lap seven into the Bus Stop chicane helped Heidfeld up to seventh place where he proceeded to make the most of his heavier fuel load than Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber ahead to leapfrog them through the pit stop window.

While he at times began lapping faster than the McLaren's ahead, Heidfeld would eventually cross the line a rather lonely fifth, a result he was nonetheless pleased with.

"This time my start wasn't good at all. In the first corner I tried to make up for it, but it didn't work out. I was braking too late and in the end lost out and was on the outside of the pack. I knew I had to overtake Heikki Kovalainen because he was on a one stop strategy. It wasn't easy but possible.

"When Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber refuelled a lot earlier than me it was clear I could finish ahead of them. Also my lap times were good when I had nobody in front of me and drove in clean air. Towards the end I was under no pressure so reduced the engine's revs."

BMW team-mate Robert Kubica meanwhile could only make up enough ground from 14th on the grid to ninth following his grid penalty, the Pole looking quick throughout the race but rarely out of traffic, particularly in the closing stages as he did all he could be wrestle eighth off Kovalainen.

"This is how it is as sometimes you push and get nothing. I didn't do a very good start, but the race was how we expected it would be - very difficult. It was very difficult behind Heikki Kovalainen as they have much more top speed, so when I was behind him I could not even gain five metres.

"Also when I was behind David Coulthard after the first pit stop, I was much faster in the corners but as soon as we were on the straights it was not possible to stay behind him. I lost a lot of time as I was behind him for almost ten laps, and was running about two seconds a lap slower than I could have done."

 

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