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GP Week : Issue 27
>>F1BELGIUM Heidfeld’s Heroes test give up for a second. Today was another lesson. You really need to wait, we always say that but today was really clear. You have to wait not only to the end of the race but also afterwards. That shows that the situation is really complicated. We will push and work hard because we respect and we know that our competitors are very, very strong.” NICK Heidfeld’s gamble of stopping for intermediate tyres paid off to devastating effect in the Belgian Grand Prix, as the under- pressure German recorded a brilliant podium result for BMW Sauber. “It was pretty much a hero or zero decision,”he said after the race. “When it started to drizzle, the first lap it was just a little bit but the second lap it became more and I just thought I will take a gamble. I knew there were not many laps to go and took the decision to go on inters. The team asked me again what I wanted to do and I think it was the perfect call. I managed to overtake a couple of cars on the last lap. I don’t know who was the last car I overtook, but I got by so it was a fantastic result for me.” Heidfeld’s third position was elevated to second position with Lewis Hamilton’s 25- second penalty, meaning that BMW Sauber now sits just 12 points behind McLaren with five races of the 2008 season remaining. Heidfeld’s performance also came at just the right time. BMW Director of Motorsport Mario Thiessen had called for Heidfeld to up his game in the run up to the Belgian Grand Prix, and with the BMW boss admitting Heidfeld had given his performance of the season so far, there is hope yet for Heidfeld to stay at BMW into 2009. Double-up! SCUDERIA Toro Rosso had an afternoon of contrasting fortunes at Spa-Francorchamps, as despite notching up a double points finish and drawing level on points with Williams, the team was left to rue what might have been as Sebastien Bourdais narrowly missed out on a podium. The Frenchman had driven one of the races of his short F1 career, and had looked set to record an unlikely podium when first Kimi Raikkonen crashed out and then Fernando Alonso gambled with a pitstop for intermediate tyres. “On the last lap it was a lottery with the car getting away from you with every turn of the wheel. It’s a horrible situation, as everything had been under control up until then,” said Bourdais. “But I am not in a situation where I can risk everything and at the end of the race I didn’t even know where I finished. It was so close to being a great result I felt I could almost touch it and so it was a very frustrating way to finish what was a great weekend up to that point. Such a shame, but nevertheless a very strong result for the team.” Bourdais eventually finished seventh while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel overcame a difficult start to the race to finish fifth. “I am really very happy with this result and now we head for our home race in Monza, hoping to carry the momentum with us,” said Team Principal Franz Tost. “A very good start and a very good race from Bourdais until he was unlucky on the last lap, as the rain came a bit too early for him. But that’s the game at Spa. It was definitely his best race for Toro Rosso and I am very happy for him. Vettel struggled a bit at the start, but then he too drove a fantastic race, passing Glock and Piquet with some good moves. At the end, he also passed his teammate. “In the closing stages we thought about bringing them in for intermediates but by then it was too late to make that call. But in the dry, in straightforward conditions, it was undoubtedly our best performance. We have moved ahead of Honda and are now on equal points with Williams and I hope we can score more points in the remaining five races. Fantastic!” 27