BMW aiming to set benchmarks

BMW aiming to set benchmarks

BMW motorsport director Gerhard Berger doesn't think that Williams is likely to win the Constructors' championship in 2003 but the new BMW engine is designed to set benchmarks in Formula One. The BMW P83 is expected to be another step forward from...

BMW motorsport director Gerhard Berger doesn't think that Williams is likely to win the Constructors' championship in 2003 but the new BMW engine is designed to set benchmarks in Formula One. The BMW P83 is expected to be another step forward from its predecessors, which have been considered by many as the most powerful engines in F1 in recent years. Last season's P82 broke the 19,000rmph barrier and Berger hopes the P83 will help bring about more wins and good qualifying sessions.

Gerhard Berger and Mario Theissen.
Photo by BMW PressClub.
"So far we have set ourselves high but realistic targets each year and have consistently achieved them," he said. "Unless something suddenly goes wrong at Ferrari, it's unlikely that the BMW WilliamsF1 Team will be World Champions in 2003. But the new BMW engine is again designed to set benchmarks for Formula One in 2003, and we certainly want to see more podium places and wins than last year. We also aim to follow on from the outstanding qualifying performance of 2002, in which Juan Pablo (Montoya) gained seven pole positions."

Berger added that although Ferrari were the team to beat, Williams was not taking it's attention off other competitors: "We will have to keep an eye on McLaren for sure, especially now that Mercedes has poached some of our technicians and the team is bound to grow in strength again."

Of the rule changes that have come about since the end of last season, Berger, like many, believes the change to qualifying will be one of the major considerations. Asked what role the changes in regulations will play, he replied: "A very crucial one, particularly where qualifying is concerned. If a driver has the possibility of just one flying lap instead of four, as previously, that presents a completely different challenge."

"For one thing, it will show which driver has the best nerves, and for another, drivers will be at the mercy of the weather. Because Friday's practice times will determine the order in which drivers set out on their final qualifying lap, unpredictable weather conditions or even a gap in the clouds leading to a rise in asphalt temperatures could have a decisive impact."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Gerhard Berger , Mario Theissen
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams