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BMW Sauber F1.08 takes center stage in Munich

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BMW Sauber F1.08 takes center stage in Munich

From October 23rd 2007 purchasers of new BMW cars in Germany have had the option to collect their cars from the new BMW delivery centre in Munich. The building known as the BMW Welt centre is a stunning structure designed by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU...

From October 23rd 2007 purchasers of new BMW cars in Germany have had the option to collect their cars from the new BMW delivery centre in Munich. The building known as the BMW Welt centre is a stunning structure designed by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU and incorporates a distinctive so called double cone and the floating cloud roof concept. This even sounds futuristic and it certainly looks it.

BMW Welt.
Photo by xpb.cc.

The Bavarian Motor Works is delivering a very special car at the centre today, the 14th Jan 2008. It is the fastest car in the BMW range in fact. This car is the company's Formula One challenger for the 2008 season, the BMW Sauber F1.08.

The F1.08 was unveiled to the world in a packed auditorium in the Welt centre. Unlike many presentations where a cover is removed from the car, the BMW Sauber was revealed through a screen of artificial smoke on the stage. The smoke cleared and the impressive F1.08 appeared.

This spectacle, like Toyota, was available to view by web users via the team's website, www.bmw-sauber-f1.com, and like the Toyota the BMW is a very attractive car.

"Honestly, it's the most beautiful car I have ever seen," commented their long-standing F1 driver Nick Heidfeld.

The driver line up for 2008 stays the same as 2007, namely 30 year-old German Heidfeld and his Polish teammate Robert Kubica, aged 23. This is not a bad thing as the team did well last year with BMW taking second in the Constructors' Championship. The result was gained after McLaren's exclusion but they still scored an impressive 101 points, 50 points ahead of the next team, Renault.

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen certainly holds his two drivers in high regard. "In Nick and Robert we have a strong and evenly matched duo."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Sauber F1 Team, BMW Motorsport Director, Nick Heidfeld, Robert Kubica, Willy Rampf, BMW-Sauber, Technical Director, pose with the new BMW Sauber F1.08.
Photo by xpb.cc.

We know that these two drivers will get the maximum out of the machinery we give them. The F1.07 was a good car, but with the extra resources which have become available to us, the F1.08 should be even better," said Theissen.

Unlike most launches, where the car is just for viewing on the day of the unveiling, the new car actually had a demonstration run. BMW set up a small track on the first floor of the Welt centre and the car was transported up to the small makeshift track for its debut.

The car screamed into life and drove a couple of laps for the benefit of the gathered media and spectators, ear plugs fortunately were supplied. The car was only driven very slowly but driver Heidfeld did lay down some rubber on the 'track' putting his foot down briefly on the tiny straight section.

The car looks fantastic especially when in motion, but can it match, or even surpass the performance of its predecessor.

BMW are hopeful as Theissen admitted, "We're setting our sights high and we'll have to make further improvements in all areas to achieve what we want to."

However, the past two years have instilled confidence within the team. We met our goals in both 2006 and 2007, we are heading in the right direction," he added.

Nick Heidfeld drives the BMW Sauber F1.08 through the BMW Welt first level.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Driver Heidfeld said, "It is generally very difficult to define expectations and make forecasts, but I hope that our plan works out and we are able to win our first race in 2008. I expect us to move forward in all areas - particularly as far as reliability is concerned - and to learn from our mistakes."

Kubica gave his thoughts on the upcoming F1 season, "I will also be looking to achieve greater consistency in my results during my second full season in Formula One. Retirements and that crash in Canada -- which also prevented me from starting in the USA -- cost me points in 2007."

We all need to take further steps forward in 2008 and make maximum use of every opportunity that presents itself," he concluded.

The BMW Sauber team is one of the real hopes to stop the season becoming a two horse race between Ferrari and McLaren. They were the best of the rest last year, tantalizingly close to the top two teams. Hopefully this year they have made the leap across the void and will truly challenge for wins.

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