Nick Heidfeld Q&A

Sauber surprised everyone by finishing fourth in the World Championship two years ago and did almost as good a job in 2002, losing a spot to Renault. But this year it will be very hard for the Swiss team to make the top five. Although it picked up some points in the early races and still lies sixth, it now seems clear that given an improved finishing record BAR, Toyota and Jaguar have the potential to beat Sauber, and Jordan also might win out over the long haul of the season. In Barcelona the cars were never really in the hunt, and any chance Nick Heidfeld had of sneaking into the points was lost when he was given a drive through penalty for holding up Cristiano da Matta. Adam Cooper spoke to the German after the race

Nick Heidfeld Q&A



"It's not about being happy, it's about the penalty being wrong. I didn't get the blue flags for a couple of laps da Matta was behind me. Button was behind me, so I thought we were all in a fight. Then I saw some blue flags for our group, and I thought, 'Who are those flags coming for?' We were the same group for a couple of laps, and I thought maybe there was somebody else behind, catching up quickly. Then I got the information on the radio and I let da Matta past, just after I saw a couple of blue flags, but only after three or four laps. Then at the same moment I heard on the radio that I'd got a penalty."



"No, because I didn't get the blue flags. For sure if you hold somebody up for three or four laps with blue flags you should be penalised, but if you have no blue flags, what can you do?"



"The first pit stop we did already under the safety car - I'm not sure if that was right I'll have to analyse it later. Then I had some brake problems. A couple of times the brakes went completely, so actually I thought about coming in at one stage in the first stint, because it didn't feel very safe. Then the balance was really, really bad, so oversteery. I lost so much time. Then after the next pit stop it was a lot better, so I'm not sure what it was. I was catching up and overtaking some people. Anyway, I was a lot quicker, but in the end the car was not so good again, and then I had the problem of the penalty."



"Although we were not quick weekend if everything was working for us I think we could have got in the points. Firman finished eighth, and I think it was possible to do that."



"Yes, it looked like that in Imola already, and it looked like that here. In fact it looked even worse here, which I didn't expect, because Imola was already difficult. It's not nice, but I hope it's aerodynamics, because Barcelona is the most important one for aerodynamics, because all the corners are very long. It's not corner, straight, corner, straight. I hope in Austria we'll be good again, because aerodynamics are not so crucial there."



"Nearly everywhere, because aerodynamics in F1 is the most important thing, and I think that's our biggest problem this year."



"Yes, like you say they have a lot more money, they have a lot more possibilities with their own wind tunnels. Ours comes at the end of the year. It's going to be tough, but we'll keep trying, as in the past."



"Yeah, we have things coming. Even in the last week we had things at the test, and they improved the car. Probably not enough, because the thing is the others improve as well."

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