Another bad day at the office just about all you need to say to sum up the British Grand Prix from a BMW Sauber stand point. Once again the car suffered badly with tire heating issues from Friday onward. Robert Kubica had one technical issue after another in every practice session leaving him precious little time to track down the proper setup for the car.
Silverstone was to be another step forward for the team with the introduction of a new front wing design, but it was soon clear that the F1.09 actually took a step backward. Heavy on fuel, no grip, light on fuel no grip and on it went.Starting from P12 for Kubica and P15 for Heidfeld it was clear that either one or both drivers would start the race very heavy on fuel, that fell to Kubica who with the combination of a heavy fuel load and the prime tire option to start the race hopped to gain a few spots through pit stops.
That wasn’t to be the case as once again he could not manage to heat the tires and was painfully slow through cornering and almost 1.5 seconds a lap slower than a blisteringly fast Sebastian Vettel at the front.
Heidfeld didn’t fair much better. Although he didn’t experience any technical problems during any practice session the inability to heat the tires was common to both cars adding at times up to .5s loss per lap. Once again for Heidfeld, he suffered contact on the first lap that sent a small piece of his front wing sailing off the track. By only a few laps later he received a call from his engineer to pit for a nose change because of a load loss at the affected site. Heidfeld made the decision to remain out and only pit as scheduled.
It probably was the right call to stay out although his lap times suffered. If he had pitted that early, he would have re joined dead last and a good half a lap behind the car in front of him with no chance to recover anything.
Despite the lack of pace in Silverstone, Mario Theissen is fighting on with some significant improvements slated for Germany and beyond.
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