The 2008 Formula 1 drivers preview continues with BMW Sauber team.
Nick Heidfeld - Germany
Born: 10 May 1977
In F1 since 2000, 2000 Prost, 2001 – 2003 Sauber, 2004 Jordan, 2005 Williams, 2006 – 2007 BMW Sauber
Best Result: 5th 2007
Career wins: 0
Pole positions: 1
Nick Heidfeld is the guy who lost the quest for McLaren seat to Kimi Raikkonen back in 2002. After that he spent few years in midfield and lower midfield with Sauber and Jordan. When he finally got his break and moved to a top team, Williams in 2005, Williams was no longer a top team … After BMW left Williams for Sauber, they took quick Nick with them. He might not have expected that at that time, but it looks like he finally found himself in a competitive car. Perhaps against the general expectations he outclassed his team mate Robert Kubica in 2007. Chinese GP was the only race in 2007 he finished outside top 6 (not counting those 3 he did not finish). He is one of the drivers who are happy the traction control is now thing of the past. But the life may be tougher for him this year. BMW may not be the isolated ones between the top 2 and the rest. The competition for 5th and 6th in each race will probably include more drivers than just Robert Kubica. If BMW closes the gap on top 2, with a bit of luck this season may bring a maiden win for Nick Heidfeld. But he may as well find himself outside of points more often than last year.
Robert Kubica - Poland
Born: 7 December 1984
In F1 since 2006 BMW Sauber
Best Result: 6th 2007
Career wins: 0
Pole positions: 0
Podium Finishes: 1 (Monza 2006)
Robert Kubica jumped into the BMW Sauber race seat with 6 races to go in the 2006 F1 season. Jacques Villeneuve was sacked after 2006 German GP and so only after few months of test driver duties with the Swiss/German team Kubica found himself on the F1 grid in Hungary. He almost scored 2 points on his debut. But his inexperience and failure to “collect” enough rubber on the way back to pit lane resulted in his car being 2 kg underweight. Kubica was disqualified and Michael Schumacher promoted to 8th. His “bad luck” continued in Monza. He scored an amazing 3rd place finish. However nobody paid much attention to him as after the race all the attention turned to Michael Schumacher and his retirement… Many expected Kubica to be the better one of the BMW Sauber drivers in 2007. It somehow did not happen. Nick Heidfeld raised his game while Kubica struggled with the Bridgestone tyres early on in the season. Two highlights of his 2007 season were the massive terrifying crash in Canada and then the great fight with Felipe Massa in Japan. Towards the end of the season however there was not much between Kubica and Heidfeld. Winter tests suggest that may also be the situation at the start of the 2008 season.
F1Wolf’s prediction for BMW Sauber drivers in 2008:
It will be very tight between Heidfeld and Kubica but for no particular reason I think Heidfeld will finish the season with few points more than Kubica.