Dr Mario Theissen has revealed that he expects both Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld to win races for BMW-Sauber in Formula 1 in 2009 – as he stressed the team's budget for the year is 'absolutely safe'.
Kubica achieved the Munich and Hinwil-based concern's breakthrough victory in the top flight when he triumphed in the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal last June, leading home team-mate Heidfeld in a one-two in BMW's 42nd start as a constructor in its own right.
Having accomplished all of the outfit's objectives in each of its first three years – consistent points finishes in 2006, podiums in 2007 and a win in 2008 – the stated objective for 2009 is a concerted world championship push.
“It's like with any other top sport – you can plan for competitiveness, but not for results,” BMW's Motorsport Director explained in an interview with Crash.net Radio
. “We are confident we have come up with a competitive car for 2009, and now it's for the races to show us where we are.
“Obviously in the end you need some luck as well – the two previous seasons have shown how difficult it will be to win the championship, but we want to be a serious contender – and if the team is a contender the drivers will be as well. I certainly hope for both drivers to win races this year.”
The German was also open about BMW's health amidst the current global credit crunch, adding his voice to that of Ferrari counterpart Luca di Montezemolo in arguing that the teams should receive a greater share of F1's financial pie. Moreover, he was adamant that the recently-announced departure of key sponsor Credit Suisse had been neither a surprise nor a setback to the squad's ambitions.
“Obviously we support that,” Theissen admitted of di Montezemolo's push for greater revenue from Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management company, “because it's the teams who put the most effort into Formula 1. We invest a lot.
“Basically without the teams there is no show, and within the current economic circumstances it is important for the teams to get a bigger chunk of the income.
“[Credit Suisse leaving] doesn't affect the team. We knew the contract was running out before and we are in discussions with potential new sponsors, but the budget for 2009 is absolutely safe.”