BMW Sauber F1.08 unveiled in Munich.
Munich, 14th January 2008. The BMW Sauber F1 Team took delivery of the fastest car in the BMW range at BMW Welt in Munich today (Monday). The team was presented with the BMW Sauber F1.08 against the futuristic backdrop of the brand's new vehicle delivery centre. The presentation, which took place before an audience of several hundred media representatives from around the world, included a spectacular cameo from Nick Heidfeld. As the longest-serving F1 driver in the BMW ranks, the German took the new car for a spin inside the vast building. The serious testing, however, will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) with the roll-out of the car at the Valencia race circuit in Spain. The BMW Sauber F1.08 is eye-catching with its imposing front wing and extremely slim rear, and boasts a wealth of innovative technology.
The BMW Sauber F1 Team has completed its development phase, motivation is strong and its plans are ambitious: in what will be its third season on the Formula One grid the team is aiming to close the gap to the leading teams and has targeted a first race win. "We're setting our sights high," admits BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen, "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, and everybody in Munich and Hinwil is focused on the job in hand. If we continue our progress along this path we will also fulfil our aims for 2008."
The team will take on the challenge with the same race drivers as in 2007 - Germany's Nick Heidfeld (30) and his Polish team-mate Robert Kubica (23) will be at the wheel of the BMW Sauber F1.08 for the 18 grands prix which make up the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship. The team will not name a test driver until the end of January.
"It is generally very difficult to define expectations and make prognoses. But I hope that our plan works out and we are able to win our first race in 2008," said Heidfeld, who once again accounted for the largest share of the points earned by the team in 2007 and finished on the podium twice. "I expect us to move forward in all areas - particularly as far as reliability is concerned - and to learn from our mistakes. This development process is essential in what we're trying to achieve."
And Kubica adds: "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."
Theissen holds his two drivers in high regard: "In Nick and Robert we have a strong and evenly matched duo. For our young team, which in 2006 and 2007 had to drive forward its development in terms of structure and personnel alongside its World Championship campaign, consistency is also a great asset. We know that these two drivers will get the maximum out of the machinery we give them. The F1.07 was a good car, so on this basis the F1.08 should be even better."