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Heidfeld's 4 points make BMW beat Williams for 6th in WCC

By BMW Sauber F1
November 1 2009

The BMW Sauber F1 Team bid farewell to motorsport's elite class with a fine performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Nick Heidfeld finished in fifth place at the 17th and final race of the season, while team-mate Robert Kubica was tenth. As a result, the team from Munich and Hinwil moved up a place in the Constructors' Championship to end the 2009 Formula One season in sixth place. The BMW Sauber F1 Team started the last Grand Prix of the year under floodlights as darkness began to set in, and both were able to defend their starting positions: Robert headed into the first lap of the "Yas Marina Circuit" in seventh place, just ahead of Nick in eighth. Over the course of the lap, the Pole managed to overtake Toyota driver Jarno Trulli to move into sixth place. Robert took advantage of the low fuel load on his F1.09 in the opening phase of the race and went on to attack Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello.

The start of the race passed without incident. On lap 17 Robert became the first driver to pull into the pit lane for his first stop. He stuck with hard tyres and rejoined the field in 13th place. As the opposition started to make their first pit stops, Robert initially found himself in tenth place.

Nick, who started the race with a heavy fuel load, found himself as far forward as second place during the first phase of pit stops. The German eventually came in for his first stop on lap 19, rejoining the race in ninth place. The BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers benefitted from the retirement of McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton to find themselves in fifth and seventh place as the field settled down.

In the second half of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Nick and Robert clocked competitive lap times and were able to match the speed of the leading drivers. Robert's second pit stop came on lap 39. He switched to soft tyres and started the final third of the race in ninth. Two laps later Nick came into the pits for the second time, rejoining in fifth place for his third stint.

On lap 43 Robert was involved in a collision with Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Buemi. Fighting for eighth place, the two vehicles came into contact and Robert was sent into a spin. He was able to rejoin the race immediately, but only after losing a position to Williams driver Nico Rosberg. Robert fell back to tenth place.

The BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers were unable to improve their positions at the season finale. Nick ended the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in fifth place to pick up a further four World Championship points. Robert left empty handed in tenth place. Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was victorious on the island of Yas, ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.

This success saw the BMW Sauber F1 Team move ahead of the Williams team (34.5 points) to finish in sixth place in the Constructors' Championship on 36 points. Nick ended the season in 13th place in the Drivers' Championship on 19 points. Robert picked up 17 points over the course of the season to finish in 14th place.

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