Robert Kubica couldn't get the performance out of his BMW that we expected. He has since said he expects a poor race tomorrow.
The number three guy in the driver's championship could see his mathematical chance of winning the title slipping away from him, as he failed to get into the pole shootout this morning. He ended qualifying in 12th place (but will gain a place with Mark Webbers engine change penalty).
"I was struggling with the balance of the car all weekend," said Kubica. "We made some changes before qualifying, but they had a negative effect. The car was difficult to drive and I couldn’t push as I wanted. I expect a tough race because now we are not allowed to change the setup.”
Going into this weekend, Kubica was confident his BMW would do well and could even assist him in gaining the title. After today's performance, the title, and indeed the end of the race, seem so much further away.
BMW team boss, Mario Theissen, thinks the Pole is writing himself off too early in the weekend, and believes Robert's fuel strategy may help him retain his consistency.
"The only advantage in this situation is we can choose our own strategy for Robert tomorrow," he said.
Kubica's teammate, Nick Heidfeld, took seventh on the grid, although given the way he conducted himself in Q1 with David Coulthard, he should be starting from the pit-lane in my opinion. Heidfeld was happy with his seventh place.
“I think this was the best I could manage today, and I’m glad the positive trend in qualifying I had in the last three races has continued." he said.
The German driver was disappointed to see his title-chasing teammate in trouble.
"I feel sorry for Robert," said Heidfeld.