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#1 D.M.N.

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 09:43

A little bit early, but:

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/71185

The BMW Sauber team will retain both Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld in the 2009 season, the German squad announced on Monday.


I think BMW have done OK this season, but I think their recent dip in form may affect them in the early stages of 2009.

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#2 primer

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 09:48

Extremely disappointing that Heidfeld has been retained. Clearly shows that there is pressure to have a German driver in the BMW seat. You can't fire the German driver while retaining the Polish one. :rolleyes:

Kubica will have to drive the team forward all on his own now.

#3 neilmundy

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 10:03

Well it means they didn't get Alonso.

#4 Craven Morehead

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 10:06

yep It's looking increasingly like Fred's staying put at Renault. Methinks Heidi & Kubi make for a pretty good pairing. Good for them.

#5 santori

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 10:56

Originally posted by primer
Extremely disappointing that Heidfeld has been retained. Clearly shows that there is pressure to have a German driver in the BMW seat. You can't fire the German driver while retaining the Polish one. :rolleyes:

Kubica will have to drive the team forward all on his own now.


Nonsense.

This is good news. One of the best line-ups in F1. Nick's had problems with qualifying this year but he's technically strong and still scoring well and I'm hoping the problems will disappear next year.

#6 ViMaMo

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 10:58

Originally posted by santori


Nick's had problems with qualifying this year but he's technically strong and still scoring well and I'm hoping the problems will disappear next year.


Wouldnt that depend on the car's characteristics?

#7 santori

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:02

Yes, but since this is the only year in his career in which he's had these problems (like Kimi), I think there's reason to hope that they aren't likely to occur in most cars. Fingers crossed.

#8 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:18

Great news! I am so pleased Dr T has kept faith in Quick Nick.

Even in his toughest season to date thanks to qualifying problems Nick has still delivered in the races.

A good, sound decision. :up: :up: :up:

#9 Gareth

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:20

Heidfeld's only 8 points behind his very highly rated team mate. He's ahead of Kova and only 1 point behind Kimi, both in driving far superior cars.

And all this in a season where he's had an awful time in qualifying with the tyres.

The guy's done (more than) enough to earn being resigned, IMO. If I were in Dr T's place, only the possibility of a long term deal with Alonso would have held me back from re-signing Heidfeld.

#10 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:28

Originally posted by Gareth
Heidfeld's only 8 points behind his very highly rated team mate. He's ahead of Kova and only 1 point behind Kimi, both in driving far superior cars.

And all this in a season where he's had an awful time in qualifying with the tyres.

The guy's done (more than) enough to earn being resigned, IMO. If I were in Dr T's place, only the possibility of a long term deal with Alonso would have held me back from re-signing Heidfeld.


Agree with every word mate. He is the most consistent driver in Formula One. And makes the least noise about it.

I wonder what went wrong with the Alonso negotiations though.

#11 LostProphet

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:28

Originally posted by Gareth
Heidfeld's only 8 points behind his very highly rated team mate. He's ahead of Kova and only 1 point behind Kimi, both in driving far superior cars.

And all this in a season where he's had an awful time in qualifying with the tyres.

The guy's done (more than) enough to earn being resigned, IMO. If I were in Dr T's place, only the possibility of a long term deal with Alonso would have held me back from re-signing Heidfeld.


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#12 Gemini

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:30

good decision

Glad we can finally put this debate of 2009 line up to rest

#13 pjaxz

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:31

Originally posted by Gareth
Heidfeld's only 8 points behind his very highly rated team mate. He's ahead of Kova and only 1 point behind Kimi, both in driving far superior cars.
And all this in a season where he's had an awful time in qualifying with the tyres.
The guy's done (more than) enough to earn being resigned, IMO. If I were in Dr T's place, only the possibility of a long term deal with Alonso would have held me back from re-signing Heidfeld.

Yes, Nick had some qualy problems in some part of the season, but also had/has big luck, and that's the reason he is only 8 points behind Kubica. When SC comes, it's rule that Robert loses places nad points, and Nick gains. It's not spite, that's the fact.
IMO, Kubica and Heidfeld are the most consistent drivers on the grid.

#14 metz

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:44

Although the media speculated otherwise, Heidfeld was never in doubt. He had signed a 3 year deal with a 1 year option for '10.
The delay was in getting a new contract signed with Robert. Glad that has been put to bed. He certainly deserves more money.
On 3 different occasions during the year, Dr.T made mention of Heidfeld passing Alonso ontrack. Alonso was never a big factor. Maybe they offered him a test drive. ;) Who knows.
All I can say to guys like primer is What other driver would be this close behind Robert? And the year isn't over. And I'm sure MiPi will be very disappointed. :cry:
Nick and Robert have 2 different driving styles. With all the changes next year, it covers the bases, since one never knows just how the car will turn out.
To help the rapid development curve that the team will need to apply, driver stability is a key ingredient.
So looking forward to consistent wins by both drivers next year. :up: :up:

#15 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:47

Originally posted by pjaxz

Yes, Nick had some qualy problems in some part of the season, but also had/has big luck, and that's the reason he is only 8 points behind Kubica.


Yes and no. Take Silverstone and Spa.

At Silverstone Nick was consistent and read the conditions well. Kubica threw it off the track.

And Spa? Nick made a unilateral decision to swing into the pits for wet tyres and precisely the right time, while Kubica slid down the order.

Canada? Yes, Kubica was very strong, but Nick had to pull up through the field after a poor qualifying session.

And I think that shows why Nick is so valuable. More often than not he has transcended his qualifying postion by pure race craft.

I don't think many would deny Robert is quicker in the F1.08. But I think Nick is more than equal in racing conditions.

#16 metz

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:48

Originally posted by pjaxz

Yes, Nick had some qualy problems in some part of the season, but also had/has big luck,

Yes... :rolleyes: ... Such luck. Scored so many points and so many podiums and never a win. Sure is lucky.

#17 Gareth

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:52

Originally posted by potmotr


Yes and no. Take Silverstone and Spa.

At Silverstone Nick was consistent and read the conditions well. Kubica threw it off the track.

And Spa? Nick made a unilateral decision to swing into the pits for wet tyres and precisely the right time, while Kubica slid down the order.

Canada? Yes, Kubica was very strong, but Nick had to pull up through the field after a poor qualifying session.

And I think that shows why Nick is so valuable. More often than not he has transcended his qualifying postion by pure race craft.

I don't think many would deny Robert is quicker in the F1.08. But I think Nick is more than equal in racing conditions.

All very true. Of Nick's 4 second places this season, 2 (Britain and Belgium) are down to his good judgement/driving. One (Canada) owes a lot to luck, but so does Kubica's result there (which he also owes to Nick being the perfect team player). Oz is the only one where I think Heidfeld has benefitted inordinantly from luck.

So I think his place in the points table is a fair reflection of his qualities.

#18 pottiella

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:55

Originally posted by metz

On 3 different occasions during the year, Dr.T made mentin of Heidfeld passing Alonso ontrack. Alonso was never a big factor. Maybe they offered him a test drive. Who knows.


lol...

I think you've missed the last 3 months or so of Formula One....

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/70606

that doesn't sound like he was offering Fernando a 'test seat' does it? Denial can be a wonderful thing...

Yes, fairly obvious Fernando didn't want to commit to a 3 year BMW deal. He even let it slip in the press conf at Singapore about doing it more with Renault 'next year', before backtracking...which suggests his heart his telling him to stay and his head is telling him to evaluate the situation more.

I think Kubica/Heidfeld is a great pairing, but Kubica has to really step up and apply that final spark that gives a team a championship winning mentality. It's easy to say 'we can do it' - but thinking 'we will do it' is not something that comes around often, and only does in abundance with a driver that provides that spark.

#19 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:15

Originally posted by Gareth

All very true. Of Nick's 4 second places this season, 2 (Britain and Belgium) are down to his good judgement/driving. One (Canada) owes a lot to luck, but so does Kubica's result there (which he also owes to Nick being the perfect team player). Oz is the only one where I think Heidfeld has benefitted inordinantly from luck.

So I think his place in the points table is a fair reflection of his qualities.


And I think he's been unlucky quite a bit as well.

It is interesting to see how the two drivers who've struggled with qualifying this year (Heidfeld and Raikkonen) have coped. Raikkonen looking rattled, crashing and generally falling into the midfield and staying there. Nick on the other hand has always made hay even on the bad days.

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#20 barteks

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:25

Originally posted by potmotr
I wonder what went wrong with the Alonso negotiations though.

I would say there was no talks at all. BMW just needed German driver and Kubica was untouchable in the team, so that's why they haven't changed the line-up.

#21 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:26

Originally posted by barteks

I would say there was no talks at all. BMW just needed German driver and Kubica was untouchable in the team, so that's why they haven't changed the line-up.


Dr T. spoke highly of Alonso a few months back didn't he?

#22 barteks

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:28

Originally posted by Gemini
Glad we can finally put this debate of 2009 line up to rest

Now we can start talking whether F1.09 will suit Kubica or Heidfeld.

#23 Clatter

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:29

Originally posted by potmotr


Dr T. spoke highly of Alonso a few months back didn't he?


Doesnt mean a job offer was actually made though.

#24 barteks

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:31

Originally posted by pjaxz
Yes, Nick had some qualy problems in some part of the season, but also had/has big luck, and that's the reason he is only 8 points behind Kubica. When SC comes, it's rule that Robert loses places nad points, and Nick gains. It's not spite, that's the fact.
IMO, Kubica and Heidfeld are the most consistent drivers on the grid.

I hope none of them suffers problems next year and sick SC rules will be changed so that we can see a real fight for the championship.

#25 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:34

Originally posted by barteks

Now we can start talking whether F1.09 will suit Kubica or Heidfeld.


A good point, they do have such different driving styles, one aggressive, one smooth.

#26 thuGG

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:35

Well that's a good news (terrible for MiPe), i'm happy with the decision. Give them a winning car, and they will take both championchips easily (I hope the WDC will go to Robert obiously).

#27 barteks

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:38

Originally posted by potmotr
And Spa? Nick made a unilateral decision to swing into the pits for wet tyres and precisely the right time, while Kubica slid down the order.

Kubica couldn't go to the pits as he was behind Nick because of pit-stop blunder.

#28 pjaxz

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:48

Originally posted by metz

Yes... :rolleyes: ... Such luck. Scored so many points and so many podiums and never a win. Sure is lucky.

Look at Hockenheim, Canada or Spa and answer to simple question - did Nick gain advantage because of SC and Kubica's pitstop problems? Heidfeld doesn't make mistakes, he is fast but gaining advantage cause of SC is always luck. Nick usually gains when SC comes, Kubica always loses points and places.
In Hockenheim and in Singapore Nick was more than 30s behind Kubica and finished ahead of him. It's pure luck. I see only once this season when Nick won with Robert on own merit - it happened in Silverstone

Originally posted by barteks

I hope none of them suffers problems next year and sick SC rules will be changed so that we can see a real fight for the championship.

Good point, I hate 2008 SC rules, which vitiate racing

#29 Chris Glass

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:52

Heidfeld has some of the best racecraft on the grid but lets face it, hes not going to go through walls to win races and wc's. He will do a good consistent point scoring job, but thats it. I guess thats all BMW are looking from him.

#30 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:02

Originally posted by Chris Glass
Heidfeld has some of the best racecraft on the grid but lets face it, hes not going to go through walls to win races and wc's. He will do a good consistent point scoring job, but thats it. I guess thats all BMW are looking from him.


Given the way the past two championships have run, a good consistent point scorer could easily take the WDC.

Nick just needs to make sure he is always around the podium, and having no DNFs, or qualifying-related performance slumps.

If BMW provide a fast car to his liking, he could win.

Kubica has had a great year, but his form was much more variable last year.

It's not beyond question that the tables could be turned once again, and Heidfeld could outscore Kubica in 2009.

#31 jcbc3

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:02

Originally posted by Gareth

All very true. Of Nick's 4 second places this season, 2 (Britain and Belgium) are down to his good judgement/driving. One (Canada) owes a lot to luck, but so does Kubica's result there (which he also owes to Nick being the perfect team player). Oz is the only one where I think Heidfeld has benefitted inordinantly from luck.

So I think his place in the points table is a fair reflection of his qualities.


Add Spain and Monaco to Heidfeld having bad luck and you end up with a balance between Robert and Nick in the 'luck' stakes this year.

I am the staunchest Heidfeld supporter here, but will also admit that Kubica has done a better job this year. But since there will always be a better and worse in a two car team, I also think that there is no indication that Kubica will have the upper hand in 2009. May they both bring BMW forward on onwards....

#32 mariuszek

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:25

It was a no brainer for the team to retain the most comprehensive line-up on the grid :up:
Now let's hope the F1.09 will be able to challenge for wins so we can see Robert and Nick giving Ferrari and McLaren a run for their money :smoking:

#33 Man of the race

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:28

Good decision. :up: Alonso-Kubica pairing could have been interesting, but didn't happen. I've been left wondering why he wasn't wanted for BMW either and they preferred Nick (or Robert) instead.

#34 inaki

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:42

Originally posted by potmotr
I wonder what went wrong with the Alonso negotiations though.


According to this sport newspaper:

Link MARCA

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport F1 director and responsible, was not convinced about the whole operation
1st proposal to Alonso was insatisfactory: 3 years unnegotiable, low salary (apparently Mario is very miser. He pays Kubica around 4 millions a year, that´s why Robert is not very happy)

Mario wants BMW growing step by step and Fernando´s landing would change that.

Anyway bosses in BMW Germany consider Alonso a key factor to close the quality gap needed to fight for title. Bosses are questioning Supermario because he let go Vettel, considered a big mistake

In addition to that:

- Alonso was also not fully convinced
- Renault progression during this year has been better and deeper than BMW.
- Next year with new rule changes (slicks, cut aerodynamics by 50%, KERS) decide which car will be better can be a gamble now, Alonso was saying in an interview: "Every team at this moment of the year is very optimistic about its own 2009 chances" (referred to Honda, BMW and Renault)
- Renault´s momentum and confidence after last GP win. I do not consider this a big thing, and Alonso said after Q2 fuel pump fiasco and after GP win in Singapur, that both things were not important in a possible decision, but recent Briatore´s speech in Gazetta dello Sport can contradict that.


PRO BMW:

Better engine that Renault by at least 30 HP, on par with Mercedes and Ferrari. One step higher than Renault who really froze development and fired 80 people from Viry-Chatillon department. Remember Toyota and Briatore complains about McLaren and Ferrari accusing them to continue development of engine. BMW is on par to them.

Apparently BMW´s KERS, like Honda one, it is in a higher degree of development than the rest. Many teams are going to use a standard Magneti Marelli.

Renault´s budget is meager and smaller than most of big teams and Carlos Ghosn is not a big F1 fan, and getting enough budget is always a factor in R&D, investigation, engines, aerodynamics and progression during a year.

You can agree or disagree to these reflections. Don´t kill messenger.

Regards

#35 Ferrim

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:43

Originally posted by Man of the race
Good decision. :up: Alonso-Kubica pairing could have been interesting, but didn't happen. I've been left wondering why he wasn't wanted for BMW either and they preferred Nick (or Robert) instead.


Last year's affair is still damaging his reputation. I guess.

#36 Gareth

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:52

Originally posted by inaki
-3 years unnegotiable, low salary
- Next year with new rule changes (slicks, cut aerodynamics by 50%, KERS) decide which car will be better can be a gamble now, Alonso was saying in an interview: "Every team at this moment of the year is very optimistic about its own 2009 chances" (referred to Honda, BMW and Renault)

I suspect these were the 2 main factors. Alonso wants to be in a position to win races and the WDC. A Ferrari drive next season would give him that, but isn't available. Outside Ferrari, chosing a team is a gamble with the changes in regulations. So Alonso won't commit to a long term deal with anyone other than Ferrari. BMW weren't offerring a long term deal, so he doesn't go there next year.

#37 metz

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:57

Originally posted by Man of the race
I've been left wondering why he wasn't wanted for BMW either and they preferred Nick (or Robert) instead.

Oh my God. Could it be that they consider Nick and Robert better drivers than Alonso?... :drunk:

#38 mursuka80

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:57

Originally posted by potmotr


And I think he's been unlucky quite a bit as well.

It is interesting to see how the two drivers who've struggled with qualifying this year (Heidfeld and Raikkonen) have coped. Raikkonen looking rattled, crashing and generally falling into the midfield and staying there. Nick on the other hand has always made hay even on the bad days.


Atleast Kimi has won races :p How many victories does Nick have? And how many starts? What a Loser driver he is.;)

#39 metz

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 13:59

Please go away... ):

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#40 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:03

Originally posted by pjaxz

Yes, Nick had some qualy problems in some part of the season, but also had/has big luck, and that's the reason he is only 8 points behind Kubica. When SC comes, it's rule that Robert loses places nad points, and Nick gains. It's not spite, that's the fact.
IMO, Kubica and Heidfeld are the most consistent drivers on the grid.


Well in many cases you also create your own luck and I think that is very true of Heidfeld. Talk all you want of his crappy season, the fact is still pretty clear: he is despite all his problems in qualifying only eight points behind Kubica and Heidfeld has once again showed that when it comes to the races, he is a very good driver. Solid, experienced, rarely makes mistakes and brings the car home in the points weekend in and weekend out.

I agree with what someone wrote above - only the possibility of getting Alonso on a long-term contract would have been better than keeping Heidfeld.

A very good decision by BMW - Heidfeld is one of the best signings out there for them. I truly believe maybe only Alonso would have been a better choice and only on a deal for a longer term.

#41 Lifew12

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:03

Good decision by BMW. There are few who work harder than Heidfeld, and I doubt any better at bringing the car home.

#42 mursuka80

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:04

Originally posted by metz
Please go away... ):


You didnt see ;) Im just joking.Im glad that Nick is retained so Robert has a consistant No2.

#43 metz

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:14

Sorry mursuka80.
Must have had you confused with MiPi... :lol:

#44 mursuka80

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:19

Originally posted by metz
Sorry mursuka80.
Must have had you confused with MiPi... :lol:


:kiss:

#45 BMW_F1

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:26

this is great news for Nick. This will boost his confidence . :up:

#46 mariuszek

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:36

Originally posted by LuckyStrike1

I agree with what someone wrote above - only the possibility of getting Alonso on a long-term contract would have been better than keeping Heidfeld.

Well besides the fact that with their current line-up the team always delivered what they promised, the question is - did Mario Theissen really want Alonso even in the long term?
I'm not so sure. What Mario wants to achieve is not only to win titles, I think he also doesn't want anyone to have any doubts about how BMW became successful. I don't think he needs a star driver who would come to the team and claim that he brought 0.6s with him, he wants to prove the opposite - that it was Munich's superior engineering skills that made the difference. With Kubica and/or Heidfeld winning for BMW, he'll get this.

#47 bankoq

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:36

Originally posted by barteks

Now we can start talking whether F1.09 will suit Kubica or Heidfeld.


To be honest I think all this hype about the car suiting only one driver is urban legend or total BS as you wish.

Let's start with Kimi. He has qualy problems but in races he's mighty as he always used to be in the past. It's just sth is wrong in the package, some small detail but it's not like he suddenly he loses his strengths and drives crappy because the car isn't built to his liking.

It the same in 2007 with Kubica. In races he never had problems with his race-pace. He had some problems with ECU which didn't suit him at all but it wasn't like the car doesn't suit him.

In 2008 Nick has very similar problem to Kimi (some small detail in whole package) but his race-pace has been more than OK in almost every race.

So my opinion is when the car is great good drivers will show pace in races. Sometimes small details can influence sth, especially in qualis but in races you will see if the drivers are good.

Oh, almost forgot to say! Decision to retain Kubica & Heidfeld was the best BMW could make!

#48 Chris Glass

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 14:52

Originally posted by mariuszek

Well besides the fact that with their current line-up the team always delivered what they promised, the question is - did Mario Theissen really want Alonso even in the long term?


Mario said he was prepared to wait for Alonso's decision which seems to indicate they made him an offer doesnt it? And its been reported they offered him a 3 year deal. It was all over the paddock.

Originally posted by mariuszek

I'm not so sure. What Mario wants to achieve is not only to win titles, I think he also doesn't want anyone to have any doubts about how BMW became successful. I don't think he needs a star driver who would come to the team and claim that he brought 0.6s with him, he wants to prove the opposite - that it was Munich's superior engineering skills that made the difference. With Kubica and/or Heidfeld winning for BMW, he'll get this.


He might get this but only if they actually win. Otherwise he gets nothing.

#49 mariuszek

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 15:22

Mario didn't say he was prepared to fait for Alonso's decision. It was Autosport who just gave a tricky headline to his "we are still evaluating the situation" quote. He did say at one point though that he wanted to see if Nick got his qualy problems really solved before making the line-up decision.
It's not that clear whether BMW really wanted Alonso or not.

Originally posted by bankoq
To be honest I think all this hype about the car suiting only one driver is urban legend or total BS as you wish.

I know what you mean but I don't think it's total bullshit. Earlier in the year I saw Mario saying Robert can cope better than Nick with a car that is not well set up.
Also in Toro Rosso we saw that Bourdais was at least on par with Vettel in the old car at the beginning of the year, and now Seb has the upper hand in the new car.

#50 potmotr

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 15:22

Originally posted by inaki

You can agree or desagree to these reflections. Don´t kill messenger.


Thanks Inaki, it's always interesting to hear what the Spanish press are reporting. :up:

As far as money is concerned, Heidfeld is one of the best earning drivers on the grid this year, his deal having been negotiated in 2007 when he was doing well.

I guess Kubica will be getting a decent pay rise for next year, and Heidfeld will no doubt still be on plenty of cash.

It could be BMW couldn't afford to have Kubica and Alonso.