Two of Formula One's leading lights have admitted that they are having to tread a fine line between concentrating on next season and potentially scuppering their title ambitions in 2008.

Both Ferrari and BMW Sauber have revealed that they are well advanced with their plans for 2009 but, with the title fight still raging between three squads in 2008, are aware that they cannot afford to throw everything behind next season's programme.

"We are very, very well into the project of next year's car, we started a long time ago," Ferrari's Aldo Costa told journalists at the Hungaroring, "It is a very difficult situation, but not just for us specifically, but also for all our main competitors.

"We have to push hard for this year's championship, and we have to push hard for next year's car. We have got only one team, so we need a very, very careful management of the resources, of the priority and we need to find the optimum balance between these two activities as we don't want to invest everything this year and then have a lack of performance next year. We want to be strong this year and strong next year, so that's very tricky."

Although BMW Sauber would be the first to admit that challenging for this year's constructors' crown would be an unexpected highlight, it is keen to retain the second place it currently holds over a resurgent McLaren squad. The team held the advantage in the points after Canada, with Robert Kubica topping the McLaren and Ferrari runners in the individual standings and the team lying just three points off Ferrari in the teams' competition, but has fallen away since then, with Kubica notably complaining about a lack of development on the F1.08.

"For us, it is also very difficult," Willy Rampf concurred, "Currently, we are in second position in the world championship and we don't want to give it up, so we have to put extra effort into the development.

"But next year's car takes a certain amount of development and we are evaluating, week by week, how much resources we shift from one project to the other one. But the pace project for next year's car, we have to keep it going."


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