Kubica wrong to think BMW favoured me, says Heidfeld

Former Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld believes it was wrong of his BMW Sauber teammate Robert Kubica to suggest BMW favoured the German during their time together at the team.

Kubica wrong to think BMW favoured me, says Heidfeld

Heidfeld and Kubica teamed up from mid-2006 until BMW’s exit from the sport at the end of the 2009 season. The pair formed an integral part of BMW’s brief rise in the sport, which culminated in a title challenge in 2008.

Kubica and Heidfeld took a shock 1-2 win at the Canadian Grand Prix, after which the team shifted development to its flawed 2009 challenger.

In the F1 podcast Beyond The Grid, Heidfeld praised his former teammate, but also said Kubica was wrong to suggest he was favoured over the Pole at BMW.

“He was the teammate I had the longest in Formula 1, for nearly three seasons," said Heidfeld. "And I would say that he was the most complete of all the teammates I had.

"He was not as quick as Kimi [Raikkonen] in races and he was not as quick as [Mark] Webber was in qualifying. But overall, as a whole package, he was really up there.

"What I didn’t like about him, or what was also for himself something not really helpful, is that most of the time he thought the team was benefiting me over him, because it was a German team as BMW and I was a German driver.

"I didn’t like it because he did put that out in the press quite often and I think it was simply not true. He was always saying the team prefers me over him, and I get better whatever… that was not true.”

In the end, BMW’s gamble to shift focus to the all-new regulations for 2009 didn’t work out. The team struggled to be competitive, as Heidfeld and Kubica finished 13th and 14th in the points respectively with just one podium apiece.

In July, BMW decided to pull out of the sport at the end of the year. Heidfeld feels BMW jumped the gun on its hasty F1 exit.

"I think one of the biggest facts was that they just pulled out too early in my view as a racing driver,” he argued.

"In the view of the team and BMW as a whole, looking at financial crisis we had back then, it probably was the right decision, I don’t know. But if you look at their results, I think they did really really well.

“Coming with a relatively small team, with Sauber, moving up the ladder, it is normal that sometimes that there is a step back. And then they just pulled a plug too early, I think.”

Read Also:

In 2008 BMW was still contending for both championships when it decided to shift focus to 2009, with Kubica leading the championship. However, Heidfeld doesn’t believe the Hinwil outfit had the outright pace to go all the way.

"As you see with some other teams when they see the chance to fight for the world championship, they just put everything in. And that didn’t happen at BMW. But to be fair, I also don’t think that there was a chance.

"If you look at the performance, even though that he [Kubica] won in Canada and he was in front in championship, the pure pace of the car wasn’t as strong as some of the other cars."

shares
comments
Imola willing to run closed doors F1 race

Previous article

Imola willing to run closed doors F1 race

Next article

Remembering Formula 1's last aggregate race

Remembering Formula 1's last aggregate race
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Filip Cleeren
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021
The essential quality Tsunoda has to harness better Prime

The essential quality Tsunoda has to harness better

A rapid ascent through the junior categories meant Yuki Tsunoda's arrival in Formula 1 was always going to be much-hyped. It's not been smooth sailing for Red Bull's latest protege so far, but his confidence has never wavered - something he'll need to rely on to continue his progress into the driver he believes he can be.

Formula 1
Apr 27, 2021