Nick Heidfeld says he is focused on trying to secure the Formula 1 drivers' title with BMW, although the German driver admits that it will take time to edge ahead of McLaren and Ferrari.

Heidfeld enjoyed a fine season in 2007 as he took fifth in the championship standings, with two podiums amongst 14 points finishes over the course of the year.

Those results, allied to a solid debut campaign for Robert Kubica, also helped BMW to secure second in the constructors' championship - albeit after the exclusion of McLaren - with Heidfeld himself admitting that things had gone better than expected.

"Before the season I didn't think we could be this strong," he said. "I had expected Renault to be a tougher challenge, I hadn't expected things to go so well."

Having emerged as the closest contender to the top two - who won all 17 races between them during the season - BMW will now aim to make another step forward in 2008 and fight for a first win and Heidfeld said he felt that both race wins and the title itself are a realistic aim, although in the case of the title, it would have to be a longer term goal.

"That is more realistic than ever before, particularly since I am convinced it can be possible with BMW," he said. "It [the title] probably won't happen in 2008 but the goal of BMW is to win a race next season and then compete for the title. And that is my goal too."



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