Heidfeld claims wet qualifying honours

Although he only set the 13th fastest time in the first qualifying session for the European Grand Prix, Nick Heidfeld was able to bask in the personal satisfaction of setting the quickest time of those drivers who had to run in the torrential downpour that started mid-way through the session

Heidfeld claims wet qualifying honours

The Sauber ace was the fastest runner in the wet by a massive 0.593s from Briton Ralph Firman, a fact that was very pleasing to the German.

"I had to go out on extreme wet weather tyres but still had to struggle like several drivers before and after me with serious aquaplaning on the track," said Heidfeld. "Nevertheless, I think I made the most of it under those very difficult conditions. Having finished 13th is quite a good result given those circumstances, given that this was quickest in the rainy conditions."

Heidfeld's team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen set the 10th fastest time overall, a lucky escape given that the rain began to fall as he reached the end of his qualifying run.

"On the whole it was a good lap until the final sector," said Frentzen. "The two previous sectors were good, but by the third it had begun to rain and the last chicane was quite slippery already and therefore difficult. I probably lost four tenths of a second in that sector."

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