Heidfeld Encouraged by Sauber's Progress

German Nick Heidfeld was encouraged with the progress of his Sauber team after posting the 10th quickest time in opening qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Heidfeld Encouraged by Sauber's Progress

German Nick Heidfeld was encouraged with the progress of his Sauber team after posting the 10th quickest time in opening qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Swiss squad have struggled for pace in recent races, and Heidfeld has only scored two points so far this season. The German, however, received a boost of confidence today after making it into the top ten ahead of tomorrow's final qualifying session.

"I am happy that now it has become obvious how much we have improved the C22's performance, because it was not so clear in the last two races," said Heidfeld. "I have mixed feelings about today's qualifying because of my mistake in the first corner this afternoon, when I got into the dirt off line.

"I was able to learn quite a bit about the tyre performance from the other drivers who did their flying lap before me, and therefore chose to run a rather conservative out lap to conserve my tyres as they can start to grain quickly under these track and weather conditions.

"This decision turned out to be right and allowed me also to score this fast lap, but I could have been faster still."

Teammate and compatriot Heinz-Harald Frentzen was also pleased with the result of today's qualifying, the German finishing in 11th position.

"I think Nick and I have done a really good lap," said Frentzen. "Unfortunately I lost some time in the third sector due to graining and so the tyres' performance decreased and I wasn't able to attack any more. In the morning I also suffered graining, particularly on the new sections of the track surface."

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