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F1 title still BMW goal for 2009.


BMW Sauber team principal Mario Theissen insists that the Hinwil squad expects to be challenging for Formula One's world championship next season, despite having to cope with the major shift in the regulations.

The team achieved its set aim of becoming a regular contender for race wins in 2008, with Robert Kubica taking its, and his, first F1 victory at the Canadian Grand Prix in June, but cynics have suggested that Theissen's outfit may follow in the wheeltracks of other pretenders to the throne regularly contested by McLaren and Ferrari, and fade away just as the ultimate prize appeared within reach.

Theissen, however, maintains that, having managed to closely follow its prescribed development path this far, he expects to see Kubica and team-mate Nick Heidfeld continue to increase the pressure on F1's 'big two' in 2009.

"Formula One is set to experience the most significant rule changes in its history," he accepted in his end-of-term assessment, "Wide-reaching controls on aerodynamics systems will see the cars looking totally different in 2009, treadless tyres will be brought back and the totally new KERS technology introduced. This may bring about shifts in the balance of power, [but] this extremely challenging scenario does not alter our goal of fighting for the world championship title in 2009."

At the mid-way point of the 2008 campaign, it looked as though Kubica and the team could actually achieve Theissen's aim a year ahead of schedule. BMW Sauber had already topped the constructors' standings as early as round three, while its Polish driver assumed first place in the drivers' points table following his victory in Canada. Thereafter, however, the team faded as a force and, despite Kubica only being eliminated from title contention at the penultimate round in China, had to settle for third place in the teams' standings and fourth in the drivers'.

While Kubica made plain his frustration at what he saw as a loss of focus from the team, with 2009 becoming the centre of attention, Theissen insists that that was not necessarily the case.

"It wasn't a question of what should have happened, but what we wanted to be the case," he said of the lofty ambitions, "These magnificent achievements so early in the season naturally whetted the appetite for more.

"We are proud of our successful season and we have once again achieved our exacting goals. We set out to turn the two-horse race at the top of the standings into a three-way battle and to record our first victory. We reached this target much earlier than expected and even managed to do so with a one-two finish.

"Although it didn't take us long to reach our goals, there was no let-up from anybody in the team. We continued to bring new and further stages of technical developments into the car in the second half of the season but, unfortunately, they didn't produce the performance gains we expected. Our pace of development was fine, but the results were not up to scratch and our rivals opened up a gap over us during the course of the season. We will learn from this for 2009, when we will be looking to be up there battling for the title."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mario Theissen (GER) BMW Motorsport Sporting Director, Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber.F1.08, Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal, 6th-8th, June, 2008
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
26.11.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
26.11.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
26.11.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
26.11.2016 - Free Practice 3, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
26.11.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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Sinclair - Unregistered

November 07, 2008 2:52 PM

The low track error count for Heidfeld eminates from his very slow driving. If he errs at his speed than that would be something. If mario Theissen has his eyes set on the 2009 Championship, now that Fernando is not available anymore, he should huury up to snatch Sebastian Vettel. This young man can be the next Michael Shumacher given the right backing and car. Heidfeld has reached his "use by date" and like some others. viz: Button, Barrichello, the useless Fissichella, and Coulthard (who is leaving anyway) should be replaced by better performers. We're sick of seeing these drivers DNFing themselves race after race after race. Finishing 5 races out of 18 for some is abysmal.

ozone - Unregistered

November 07, 2008 8:39 AM

ok if you make light KERS construction and it will worth all the job. Kubica ones said that KERS is too heavy and won''t provide real advantage in future. His nose is maybe big but has good sense of smell, use it and take advantage or he''ll change team. Now the amount ot factories making redecision about using kers is growing...but all in all, I thing that it''s good to make cooperation closer as much as possible with Kubica couse since his arrival BMW just has jumped to 1st class in F1. With Heidfeld (he is also good driver) I guess they both don''t have the same filling about bmw f1 car future developement so it''s a difficulty. Some hiring decisions would be appreciated.



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