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Posts tagged “Nick Heidfeld

Belgian GP 2009: Kimi Raikkonen Takes Ferrari’s First Win Of Season!

Kimi Raikkonen delivered an emphatic first win of the season for Ferrari this afternoon after a highly exciting Belgian Grand Prix.

Suprise pole sitter Giancarlo Fisichella came in 2nd place, Force India’s first ever points and thus podium, while Sebastian Vettel kept his championship hopes alive while others around him faltered with 3rd place.

Race Review

The getaway from the line was mostly noted for Rubens Barrichello’s anti-stall kick in, forcing Kimi Raikkonen around his outside and bunching everyone up into La Source hairpin.

Raikkonen dived onto the astroturf around the outside of the turn and raced down to Eau Rouge with Fisichella in the lead and the BMW’s far up the pack.  Further back in the field various cars including Fernando Alonso, Jaime Alguersuari, Adrian Sutil, Timo Glock, Jarno Trulli and Lewis Hamilton were all tangling with bits of bodywork flying everywhere.

The cars were bunched as they headed down the straight to Les Combes, where Romain Grosjean tagged Jenson Button forcing him into a spin.  Jaime Alguersuari tried to miss Button and ended up ramming Lewis Hamilton forcing them both out as well as Button and Grosjean.  This left us with a Safety Car situation with all these cars hanging off the track.

Some drivers including Rubens Barrichello decided to pit in.

When the safety car finally returned to the pits, Kimi Raikkonen using his KERS system to full effect managed to get ahead of Fisichella and that is where he would stay for the rest of the race.  The gap between the two was not very large, and the pitstops [all on the same laps for the pair] didn’t yield a position change.  Had Raikkonen not being using the KERS system then he would almost certainly have lost the place to Fisichella, whose Force India car looked frighteningly quick.

Sebastian Vettel had a very quiet drive to 3rd place, managingto make use of accidents and retirements.

Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld managed to get a great result for their BMW team, with 4th and 5th places.  They stayed out of trouble throughout the race, but were almost certianly helped along by faster rivals being knocked out in the first corner accident.

7th place finisher Rubens Barrichello never looked like troubling those at the front after his poor start.  He did well to end up in the points, but in all honesty was lucky to finish with his Brawn GP car pluming smoke for the final 3 laps.  The Brazilian’s car then set on fire as he returned to the pitlane after the race!

Just finishing ahead of Rubens was Heikki Kovalainen, the sole finishing McLaren using good strategy to make the position from a poor qualifying start.  8th was Rosberg picking up vital points, but Mark Webber really should have been there but he had a pitlane incident where he was released into the path of Heidfeld, focing the German to nearly crash and got given a drive-through penalty for it.

Timo Glock should also have finished higher than 10th, but a fuel rig failure ruined his chances of points from early good running.

Sutil, Buemi and Nakajima came next in the classifications with fairly average races, and Luca Badoer brings up the rear of the field [again] in what is likely to be his last Ferrari race.

Fernando Alonso retired with a broken front left wheel and suspension, while we do not know Jarno Trulli’s problem possibly a fuel pressure issue.

Classified Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1.23.50.995
2 G. Fisichella Force India Mercedes +0.939
3 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +3.875
4 R. Kubica BMW Sauber +9.966
5 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +11.276
6 H. Kovalainen McLaren Mercedes +32.763
7 R. Barrichello Brawn Mercedes +35.461
8 N. Rosberg Williams Toyota +36.208
9 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +36.959
10 T. Glock Toyota +41.490
11 A. Sutil Force India Mercedes +42.636
12 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +46.106
13 K. Nakajima Williams Toyota +54.241
14 L. Badoer Ferrari +1.38.177

Fastest Lap: S. Vettel (Red Bull) 1.47.263

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
F. Alonso Renault 27 Tyre/Suspension
J. Trulli Toyota 21 Fuel Pressure (Poss.)
J. Button Brawn Mercedes 1 Accident
R. Grosjean Renault 1 Accident
L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 1 Accident
J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 1 Accident

KR

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Belgian GP 2009: Fisichella Takes Shock Pole Position

Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella has delivered the small team it’s first ever pole position after a stunning qualifying session in Belgium, where the form book really was turned on it’s head.

Fisichella the flambouyant Italian was amazingly fast throughout the session in the heavily revised Force India car, and the investment has paid dividends to its owner Vijay Mallya.

Although likely to be light on fuel, this must signal the first points of the season for the team based in Silverstone.  If not that, it signals to Ferrari that Giancarlo Fisichella could deliver something for them, unlike Luca Badoer who did not help his cause by qualifying last and ending Q1 in the wall.

Jarno Trulli made second place in the significantly faster Toyota, and Nick Heidfeld made a shock return to the top with 3rd position.

Rubens Barrichello will start 4th, the highest qualifying Brawn after Jenson Button faltered and did not get out of Q2. He will start in 14th tomorrow, a big harm to his world championship chances.

Kimi Raikkonen did much better than Badoer and will start 6th, those around him must be concerned about his KERS system.

Vettel and Webber made 8th and 9th for Red Bull, so should make valuable ground tomorrow.

The improving McLaren’s have struggled in Spa this afternoon, with Hamilton making just 12th place and Kovalainen 15th.  Another big name between them is Fernando Alonso in 13th.

We thought the Toro Rosso’s looked good, but neither managed to get out of Q1 with Buemi starting 16th and Alguersuari 17th.

Romain Grosjean lines up alongside Badoer at the back, after the young French/Swiss made progress.

Pos  Driver       Team                       Q1        Q2        Q3      
 1.  Fisichella   Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:45.102  1:44.667  1:46.308
 2.  Trulli       Toyota                (B)  1:45.140  1:44.503  1:46.395
 3.  Heidfeld     BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:45.566  1:44.709  1:46.500
 4.  Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1:45.237  1:44.834  1:46.513
 5.  Kubica       BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:45.655  1:44.557  1:46.586
 6.  Raikkonen    Ferrari               (B)  1:45.579  1:44.953  1:46.633
 7.  Glock        Toyota                (B)  1:45.450  1:44.877  1:46.677
 8.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:45.372  1:44.592  1:46.761
 9.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:45.350  1:44.924  1:46.788
10.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:45.486  1:45.047  1:47.362
11.  Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:45.486  1:45.119
12.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:45.239  1:45.122
13.  Alonso       Renault               (B)  1:45.767  1:45.136
14.  Button       Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1:45.707  1:45.251
15.  Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:45.761  1:45.259
16.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:45.705
17.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:45.951
18.  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:46.032
19.  Grosjean     Renault               (B)  1:46.307
20.  Badoer       Ferrari               (B)  1:46.359


Petrov & de La Rosa To Campos For 2010 While Klien Eyes Sauber Seat

The Formula One musical chairs has begun in ernest this week as we head into the second part of the season at the European Grand Prix.

For the new team Campos Cosworth, they are at the centre of rumours that they will announce their drivers at this weekend’s race.  This was quite a suprise for their principal Adrian Campos, but he admitted that the drivers would be announced “very soon” to Diario AS.

Meanwhile Radio Marca claims that McLaren test driver Pedro de La Rosa would be returning to a race seat with the team alongside Russian GP2 star Vitaly Petrov.

“I have a few more years of racing ability and would return to be with a team even that is not competitive.” De la Rosa told AS

Also on the musical chairs this week was the suprise announcement from Christian Klien that he would like a race seat with BMW Sauber for 2010.  Er, maybe he didn’t get the memo? Anyway we got the idea of what he meant, whatever the team name for 2010 he was committed to Hinwil.  He also claimed to have had offers this season but turned them down to support BMW.

With Alonso heading to Ferrari and Kubica to Renault, there would theoretically be one free seat.  there have also been claims from Germany that Nick Heidfeld could be off to premier touring car series DTM as BMW look to enter the series as they head out of F1 and WTCC.  Therefore 2 free seats at the team.

“There have been enquiries during this season,” said Klien. “The new teams are naturally interested in drivers with experience. But anyway this team (BMW Sauber) remains my first choice.

“With all the human capital and infrastructure at Hinwil I see no reason why we can’t build a successful car for 2010,” he added.


BMW Sauber To Leave Formula One At The End Of 2009

BMW have announced that their Formula One team, BMW Sauber will not be competing in F1 beyond the end of the 2009 season.

It is a bitter blow for the German/Swiss team which had seen gains through 2007 and 2008, but have suffered with a poor car in 2009.

The team were formed after BMW, who had supplied engines to Williams from 2000-2005, decided to buy out Peter Sauber’s small but successful Swiss team, Sauber based in Hinwil.  They took over, and in 2006 they had an average season with Nick Heidfeld and Jacques Villeneuve at the wheel.  In 2007 they were much more competitive with Robert Kubica partnering Heidfeld.  In 2008, Kubica recorded the teams first victory in Canada, a circuit where a season before RK left in a medical helicopter following a horror shunt.

Dr. Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW said this morning: “Of course, this was a difficult decision for us. But it’s a resolute step in view of our company’s strategic realignment,” he said.

“Premium will increasingly be defined in terms of sustainability and environmental compatibility. This is an area in which we want to remain in the lead. In line with our Strategy Number ONE, we are continually reviewing all projects and initiatives to check them for future viability and sustainability. Our Formula 1 campaign is thus less a key promoter for us.

“Mario Theissen has been in charge of our motor sports program since 1999. We have scored a large number of successes in this period, including some in Formula 1 racing. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mario Theissen and his team for this.”

There are lots of unknown’s following today’s ruling.  The team is likely to be put up for sale, and could be bought by one of the teams who failed to get into F1 such as Lola or Prodrive or perhaps by a new investor looking to buy a going concern.  The latter would secure jobs, but if the slot is made available then the jobs will be lost.  Epsilon Euskadi has expressed interest in taking the slot of the team if they fold altogether.

Robert Kubica is a very talented and young driver, and although he stated he is keen to try his hand at rallying it is likely a big team will buy him in.  Williams could be looking for a Nico Rosberg replacement, McLaren are looking for a replacement for Heikki Kovalainen or perhaps if Massa will not drive in F1 again and Alonso doesn’t have a contract with the Italian’s he could make a shock move to Ferrari.  Nick Heidfeld on the other hand is far more uncertain, and at his age he might struggle to get another drive on the back of always promising good things but never really delivering.


Theissen Confident BMW Are Moving Forward

Mario Theiseen was clearly delighted with his team’s progress in today’s Turkish Grand Prix qualifying session, after his cars will line up 10th and 11th on the grid.

After a disatorous Monaco weekend where Robert Kubica, tipped by some as a title threat, started in 18th position there was a clear line drawn that the F1.09 was not good enough.

With a new aerodynamic package, dropping KERS and adding a new diffuser the BMW is clearly getting back to some form.

“When all the drivers were running in the same conditions, the gap to the front-runners was just 0.4 seconds,” said Theissen. “That proves the new aero package has had a positive effect.

“We produced a solid performance. Obviously, our goal was, to get both cars into Q3, which didn’t quite work out.

“The whole field was very close. Nick missed Q3 by just five hundreds of a second, and Robert was finally tenth. What this means in terms of the race we will only see once we know the competitors’ strategy.”


Heidfeld – It Is A Complete Disaster

Nick Heidfeld was incredibly down after yesterday’s Bahrain Grand Prix declaring the race, and things at BMW Sauber as completely disastorous.

The German driver, who was fighting high last season with Robert Kubica may have finished 25 races in a row, but he was in last position.

The BMW Sauber car looked slow, and although he had an incident early on, it was no excuse for the poor car – one which many people cite as the worst looking in F1.

“The result is a disaster, although we were unlucky with the collision in the first corner,” the German veteran said.

“At first I thought the suspension was broken, but I only had to have a new nose fitted in the pits and then continued. The first half of the race with the harder tyres was difficult, but the softer compound made it a little bit easier.”

“However, it is another race to forget and we all hope for improvements in Barcelona,” he concluded.



Malaysian Grand Prix 2009: Jenson Button Wins Abaondoned GP

Jenson Button has taken top spot for the second race running in a Malaysian Grand Prix which was abaondoned due to adverse weather conditions with some 24 laps to go.  This means that only half points will be awarded.

Nick Heidfeld takes second, and Glock 3rd.

Race Review

The weather dominated race build up after the heavy rain that fell during the GP2 race which preceeded the F1.  Being at this time of the evening, everyone knew there was a high chance of rain.

The race began, and Button got a poor start.  Trulli got a decent start but this was nothing compared to Nico Rosberg of Williams who rocketed away from his grid box and made the early pace.

Kimi Raikkonen also made good progress, pulling a few positions up to 4th at one point but got a little pinned on the outside of turn 1 which didn’t help his charge in what would be another catastrophic Grand Prix for Ferrari.

Despite a heavy fuel load Fernando Alonso found himself ahead of pole sitter Button, but the Brit swiftly dealt with the Spaniard in the superior Brawn BGP001.

The rain hadn’t arrived, but the dark clouds were over the Sepang Circuit.  Scuderia Ferrari pulled Kimi Raikkonen into the pits, and made a catastrophic error.  They put the Finn onto extreme wet tyres.  When the track was bone dry.  Kimi, the 2007 World Champion, was crusing around the circuit losing positions and doing laps well over the 2 minute mark.

About 5 laps later, some rain began to fall but by this point Kimi’s tyres were shredded, as he so beautifully put it on the radio “The tyres are screwed, they’re completely shot, thanks a lot”.

When this rain began, everyone pitted for wets except Timo Glock who put intermediates on. This was a fantastic choice, as he overtook many cars and was fighting for the lead with Jenson Button.

Cars were spinning off the track all over the place as the monsoon fell, Vettel spun out, Heidfeld nearly stalled the car stuck on the astro-turf, Lewis Hamilton went off a few times, and Fernando Alonso crawled back down a back road used for service vehicles behind a massive gravel trap.  Fisichella flew into the gravel on the way into the pitlane, a disappointing end to the Italian’s charge.

The downpour was pretty intense by this point and the safety car was called, before the red flag was shown.

The cars sat on the grid in farcical conditions for an hour, while the FIA decided the race could not continue.

It was a disapointing end for fans all over the world, and as 75% race distance was not completed only half points will be awarded.

RACE RESULTS

Classified:

The Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix 2009;

Sepang Circuit, Kuala Lumpur;

56 Laps [Race Distance Not Completed];

Cloudy then wet;

Pos Driver Team Time
1 J. Button Brawn Mercedes 55.30.622
2 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +22.722
3 T. Glock Toyota +23.513
4 J. Trulli Toyota +46.173
5 R. Barrichello Brawn Mercedes +47.360
6 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +52.333
7 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +60.733
8 N. Rosberg Williams Toyota +71.576
9 F. Massa Ferrari +76.932
10 S. Bourdais Toro Rosso Ferrari +102.164
11 F. Alonso Renault +109.422
12 K. Nakajima Williams Toyota +116.130
13 N. Piquet Renault +116.731
14 K. Raikkonen Ferrari +142.841
15 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +1 lap
16 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
17 A. Sutil Force India Merc +1 lap
18 G. Fisichella Force India Merc +2 laps

Fastest Lap: J. Button, Brawn – 1.36.641

Retirements

Driver Team Laps Reason
R. Kubica BMW Sauber 2 Engine
H. Kovalainen McLaren Mercedes 0 Accident

INTERVIEWS/COMMENT

Jenson Button (Brawn) 1st – “What a crazy race!”

Nick Heidfeld (BMW) 2nd – “It was a very difficult choice in these conditions.  We didn’t do perfect tyre choice – I went straight to extremes as normally it’s heavy rainfall here.  I just tried to stay on the circuit.”

Timo Glock (Toyota) 3rd – “It was a tricky race, I have to say, but at the end one of the best races I could ever do.”

Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 7th – “When the rain came down, it was impossible to drive. I was aquaplaning everywhere – these were the most dangerous conditions I’ve ever raced in.”

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 9th – “I think we need to get together and we need to improve. We were not great before and stupid now. For sure the car is not strong enough. We need to work on that, and we did some mistakes on the strategy and this kind of thing.  It is always a problem when you don’t score points. So, for sure in this kind of race our aim is to score points, but it was not possible. Anyway, it is a bad result.”

Adrian Sutil (Force India) 17th – “When the rain started it was very difficult and just about impossible to drive. We were in second or first gear at 20kph and even then we were sliding around the circuit. It was unbelievable, so it was a good decision to stop the race.”

PHOTOS

Turn 1
Kubica's engine blow
Kimi Alonso
Fisichella
Clouds
Pit - In time
Rosberg in the Rain
Button fending off Glock
Buemi takes a spin
Red Flag
Button WINS!


BMW Committed To F1 For Long Term – Theissen

Dr Mario Theissen has admitted in an interview with Autosport that BMW Motorsport are fully committed to Formula One for the long term.

When the Honda Motor Company pulled out of F1 at the end of last season, BMW along with Toyota and Renault were alleged to be considering a similar exit leaving F1 with only Ferrari as a big manufacturer.

However, no more teams have left, and Brawn GP who have risen from the ashes of Honda seem a convincing replacement, perhaps even a better team.

Toyota have slashed their budgets, and here BMW are saying that F1 is right at the core of their company.  The greatest world motorsport is pivotally vital to them and their brand development, alongside their World Formula BMW series’ and the WTCC entries.

“Today, BMW is spending 40 percent less on its involvement in Formula 1 than in 2005,” he said.

“Back then we were an engine supplier, but now have our own team, of course. Significant savings have been achieved through increases in the mileage required of each engine.

“When BMW returned to Formula 1 in 2000, we were using one engine for free practice, replacing it for qualifying and then fitting another new one for the race. This outlay has since been gradually reigned in and today each driver has to make do with eight engines for the full duration of the season.

“The heavily reduced testing schedule has brought further substantial budget savings. Testing on race circuits is banned outside of race weekends until 31 December 2009. The only exception will be tests for junior drivers with no GP experience after the season has finished. So we have put together a whole package of measures to reduce costs.”


Heidfeld Fastest On Barcelona Test Day 1

Nick Heidfeld was the fastest driver on the first day of testing at the Catalunya Circuit, Barcelona.

The BMW driver was around 1/2 a second faster than Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who put in another solid day for the Italian team.

Jarno Trulli was third;

“This morning started off with drizzly conditions but the rain quickly tailed off, giving us the chance to have a good day’s work,” said Trulli. “The afternoon was windier but the track surface was fine.

“The car felt well balanced from the start and we worked on several new things on the aero side which gave us positive results. We were competitive throughout the day and we collected a lot of data so this was a useful start to the test.”

The big talking point was Jenson Button who spent most of the day on top of the times, before finishing 4th.  It was the first official test of the new Brawn GP Mercedes against other cars, and it certainly looked good.

Piquet was 5th, followed by Bourdais in the new Toro Rosso Ferrari launched earlier today.

The new Toro was faster than the counterpart Red Bull of Mark Webber in 7th, just ahead of Sutil in the Force India and Nakajima in the Williams.

McLaren were slowest, as they sought to extreme methods of completely changing the floor on the MP4-24.  Desperate times calling for desperate measures?

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time     Laps
 1.  Heidfeld      BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:20.339   92
 2.  Raikkonen     Ferrari              (B)  1:20.908   80
 3.  Trulli        Toyota               (B)  1:20.937  118
 4.  Button        Brawn-Mercedes       (B)  1:21.140   82
 5.  Piquet        Renault              (B)  1:21.662  124
 6.  Bourdais      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:22.158   96
 7.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:22.246  115
 8.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes (B)  1:22.452  127
 9.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:22.813  111
10.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:22.948   87
Heidfeld - Fastest

Heidfeld - Fastest

Raikkonen - Proving the F60s consistency

Raikkonen - Proving the F60's consistency

Button - The Brawn GP Mercedes IS fast

Button - The Brawn GP Mercedes IS fast

Webber - Satisfied...

Webber - Satisfied...

Bourdais - The new Toro is fast

Bourdais - The new Toro is fast

McLaren in serious trouble?

McLaren in serious trouble?

Barrichello watching proceedings closely

Barrichello watching proceedings closely


Heidfeld Fastest On Jerez Test Final Day

Nick Heidfeld topped the time sheets in the BMW Sauber F1.09 on the final day of the Jerez test week which started last Sunday with all teams (bar Toro Rosso) running their 2009 machinery together for the first time.

Heidfeld put in 123 laps, by faar the busiest of the day.

He was just faster than Kimi Raikkonen who put the Ferrari in 2nd place, a locale it has held all week with consistent and reliable tests.

Lewis Hamilton was 3rd, he lost control of his car and put it in the barriers during the day and completed under 60 laps.  The World Champion and his team look to be struggling at this crucial stage of the pre-season.

Webber and Nakajima were next, and propping up the times was Jarno Trulli who had lots of problems and got hardly any competitive running in.

The Italian was happy with his chance to run 2010 Bridgestone tyres however.

“That was a short day for us,” said Trulli. “We lost the morning to the weather but in the afternoon we had a chance to try out the 2010 Bridgestone slick tyres. The conditions remained difficult because the wind was still strong.

“On one run I picked up some damage to the front wing after running over kerbs. Still, we made it through a number of runs and collected data for the future. As for this season, this test shows that things are going well for us so we can be confident.”

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time     Laps
 1.  Heidfeld      BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:20.052  123
 2.  Raikkonen     Ferrari               (B)  1:20.404  112
 3.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:21.272   58
 4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:22.219   47
 5.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:22.226   54
 6.  Trulli        Toyota                (B)  1:23.119   38

Nick Heidfeld

Nick Heidfeld

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Bridgestone Slicks

Bridgestone Slicks

Kazuki Nakajima

Kazuki Nakajima

Spectator

Spectator

Jarno Trulli

Jarno Trulli