BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen reflects on the Belgian Grand Prix, highlighting its many incidents, from the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's point of view. Dr Mario Theissen. Photo by BMW PressClub. "What a return to Spa! In an...
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen reflects on the Belgian Grand Prix, highlighting its many incidents, from the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's point of view.
"What a return to Spa! In an eventful Belgian Grand Prix, race fans witnessed more drama and action than they usually see in half a season. Unfortunately, it was a race with a rather frustrating result for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. But, at the same time, we have seen clear proof that we have been competitive and that we have made a significant step forward. Spa is extremely demanding in all areas, be it driving skills, set-up work or the demand placed on the BMW engines."
"Both Antonio Pizzonia and Juan Pablo Montoya had to retire in the closing stages of the race, ironically, each of them running a promising third when fate played its hand. Therefore, you have to admit that we had a realistic chance of scoring a podium result or at the very least add a significant amount of points to our tally But in motor racing, it can happen that an upward trend is not rewarded by points. That's racing. Now we have to work hard to make up for this set-back, starting with the Italian Grand Prix at Monza."
"This Sunday at Spa, history was made. And once again, Michael Schumacher was the man. At Spa-Francorchamps, this extraordinary sportsman succeeded in adding his seventh FIA Formula One World Drivers' Championship to his tally. He is a truly unique driver, and his commitment, his doggedness, his skills and his will power have made him a true motor racing icon."
"In the course of his career, and particularly with Ferrari, he has created something unique, something that will be unparalleled for a long, long time, maybe even forever. By setting record after record, he has impressively made his 'Schumi mark' on Formula One. Therefore, we want to pay this outstanding and congenial sportsman a huge compliment and congratulate him on his achievements."
"Unfortunately, Spa was also scene of a worrying phenomenon. The unusually high rate of punctures is of great concern, and careful analysis is an absolute must. It has to be investigated whether these punctures were caused by external impact, such as sharp-edged debris after the numerous accidents, or if Spa was just simply asking too much of the tyres. If you are interested in improving the safety of Formula One, the tyres and -- in this context -- the cleaning of the track are key factors."
"A simple broom is most definitely not enough when it comes to cleaning the scene of an accident. To ensure that all the razor-sharp carbon-fibre slivers are removed, during the course of a safety-car period, you need special equipment, such as a vacuum cleaning road sweeper."
"This year, Formula One has already experienced too many puncture-related incidents. Our team has been involved in two of these accidents, the first being Ralf Schumacher's serious crash at Indianapolis, the second one Juan Pablo's puncture at Spa. Fortunately, neither Juan Pablo nor his rivals suffered injuries in yesterday's Grand Prix.