BMW Sauber can look forward to the rest of the season with fresh optimism, after the development updates introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix helped lift the team's performance.
That is the view of Nick Heidfeld, who has expressed some relief that the team's slip down the order has been reversed as one of its cars got through to Q3 for the first time in three races.
"It is never enough unless you are on pole position and win the race, but I am quite happy with the development because we made a bigger step than some of the other teams," Heidfeld told AUTOSPORT. "Our performance here is better than the last couple of races.
"I hope that we keep improving it further to make more use of the potential. I am also looking forward to the aero updates which we still don't have on the car, so then we can make bigger steps on the car.
"I am not happy that it didn't work out for me, but the positive thing is we made a step forward with the car. The qualifying result itself is not satisfying, but it is more satisfying looking at the next races knowing we made an improvement."
Heidfeld also reckoned that there was plenty more to come from the car -- both in terms of extracting more speed from the current configuration, plus the introduction of an updated KERS package and a double-decker diffuser.
"There is more downforce everywhere, but it is not perfect balance-wise yet, so we can now give some feedback and try and improve it further."
BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said: "I am satisfied about the performance of the car, although I have to say it was also due to an excellent performance from Robert, so the car has made a step forward. I am not happy with the result. It is definitely a good step."