F1 »

BMW: `Unrealistic` for Kubica to fight for title.

Despite his stellar start to 2008, BMW Motorsport Director Dr Mario Theissen insists it would be 'unrealistic' to expect Robert Kubica to challenge for overall honours in Formula 1 this year, whilst backing underperforming team-mate Nick Heidfeld to rise to the challenge that lies ahead of him.

Kubica has begun the campaign in fine form indeed, taking the maiden pole position of his fledgling career in the top flight in Bahrain and finishing five of the opening six grands prix inside the top four – three of them up on the podium.

Those results have left the young Pole – still in only his second full season in motor racing's uppermost echelon – sitting pretty in fourth sport in the drivers' standings, just six points shy of leader Lewis Hamilton. Theissen was quick to stress, however, that talk of a tilt at the crown this year is somewhat premature.

“That would be unrealistic,” the German underlined when asked by news agency SID whether his impressive 23-year-old charge is now a title contender in 2008.

“We have an ambitious timetable. We want to win our first race this year, and then starting from 2009 be fighting for the title.

“Since we took over Sauber, we [have] achieved the goals we set for ourselves, and we want to keep making one step after the other.”

The 55-year-old was similarly swift to leap to the defence of the under-fire Heidfeld, whose start to the season has been every bit as frustrating as his team-mate's has been noteworthy.

The experienced German has unexpectedly been out-scored by Kubica 32-20, out-qualified six-nil and indeed last time out in Monaco failed to make the final Q3 shoot-out at all, bringing to an end BMW's proud record of consecutively getting both cars into the top ten in qualifying, stretching all the way back to the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix 19 months earlier.

The 31-year-old's major bugbear has been an inability to get Bridgestone's new Potenza tyres up to temperature sufficiently quickly, putting him at a disadvantage for qualifying and, therefore, race day too.

“We have to do everything we can so that he can get out of this low as quickly as possible,” Theissen acknowledged. “We know what he can do, especially when he is under pressure; in these situations he can deal with it and be at his best.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Robert Kubica, Jerez F1 Test, 6/02/07
Mario Theissen
Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber.F1.08, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 4-6th, April, 2008
Maurizio Arrivabene and Sergio Marchionne at Ferrari`s annual Christmas media briefing
Maurizio Arrivabene and Sergio Marchionne at Ferrari`s annual Christmas media briefing
Sergio Marchionne at Ferrari`s annual Christmas media briefing
Maurizio Arrivabene at Ferrari`s annual Christmas media briefing
Maurizio Arrivabene and Sergio Marchionne face the press at Ferrari`s annual Christmas media briefing
Esteban Gutierrez joins Ferrari as test and reserve driver
F1 veteran David Coulthard wins Race of Champions
McLaren confirms Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso and Ron Dennis at McLaren
McLaren confirms Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
McLaren confirms Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button alongside Kevin Magnussen. Pic credit: McLaren
Christian Fittipaldi in the Minardi M192, 1992
David Brabham in the Simtek in 1994
Michael Andretti drives the MP4/8 in the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


F1Tos

June 06, 2008 4:42 AM

Kubica certainly still has a chance if he keeps doing what's he's doing till the last race of the season. While Ferrari and McLaren beat each other up he could easily sneek through the cracks and win. On the other hand Heidfeld will be back in about 6th or lower if he keeps doing what he's doing. I still find it hard to beleive a guy with his experience and F1 cred can't get his tyres working for so long and still uses that his excuse. I'd be embarrassed if I was Nick. Personally in all these years I've never seen him drive really fast(on the edge) and blow me away. To me he's to clinical and perfect on paper but lacks the mongeral fighting spirit required to really win. Great Test Driver!

errorxp - Unregistered

June 05, 2008 7:25 PM

somehow it's always about the NEXT year for bmw. kubica is right up in the standings so i wouldn't play down his chances that much. it was also unrealistic for KR to snatch the crown last year so anything can happen.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.