BMW had a rare 'off' weekend after scoring just a seventh place finish in the Chinese Grand Prix courtesy of Nick Heidfeld.

Another weekend in which the team failed to make the most of the difficult conditions to perhaps challenge above their station, good starts for both Heidfeld and Robert Kubica came to nothing when the former made a tyre error and the latter retired.

For Kubica, it was a frustrating occurrence after he had actually moved into the lead of the race through the pit stop period and was looking good for at least fourth place when he had made his stop. However, almost straight away, the Pole suffered a hydraulic failure to place him into his first retirement since his mammoth crash in Canada.

"I retired from the race with an hydraulic leak. That more or less says it all as I found myself with no power steering and no gears. It was looking pretty good up to then. We stayed out when it started raining with grooved tyres for three or four laps, which was very difficult, but it paid off. However, in the end it didn't pay off because I couldn't finish the race."

Heidfeld himself looked to be on course to inherit fourth place but made the wrong call in his planned one and only pit stop to bolt on wet tyres again, only to have to come back in four laps later for slick rubber. Recovering to seventh place, the German was disappointed with the result.

"I am very disappointed as fourth was possible for us today. In hindsight it was a mistake to take a second set of wets after 28 laps. At this time my first set was completely finished and I lost about 12 seconds a lap. On top of that it looked like we would have more rain. But after 32 laps I had to pit again for dry tyres.

"The race started well - I managed to gain two positions at the start, and it was almost three. On lap four I made a mistake under braking before the hairpin and Vitantonio Liuzzi passed me. Later in the race we met again, but I couldn't overtake him. I was very close in the corners but couldn't catch him on the straights."

 

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