Heidfeld stars en route to eighth

Sauber's Nick Heidfeld put up one of the top performances at the European Grand Prix when he sprinted through the field after starting from the pit lane to claim the final point for eighth place

Heidfeld stars en route to eighth

Team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen followed him across the finish line in ninth place, 19 seconds in his compatriot's wake, but just a fraction of a second ahead of Antonio Pizzonia's Jaguar.

Heidfeld explained all: "After I didn't get a timed qualifying lap yesterday, I decided to start the race from the pit lane. At the beginning of the race, it wasn't easy to pass either of the Minardi drivers and I also got stuck behind Jacques Villeneuve's BAR. But, after that, the car went well and I'm exceedingly happy with my result."

Team chief Peter Sauber was also more than a little delighted with Heidfeld's progress up the order: "To score a point after starting from the pit lane is a fantastic achievement. The fact that both Nick and Heinz-Harald finished in the top nine clearly shows the good performance of the team and, of course, the drivers. In comparison with our competitors, the improvement in the performance of our car was also clearly visible."

"My congratulations to Nick," exclaimed Frentzen. "After yesterday's qualifying session - when we were 15th and 20th - our results in the race are a surprise. At the beginning I was fighting with Ralph Firman, but then I was able to get on with my own race and I'm happy to finish ninth."

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