While attention will largely be trained on the three-way battle for the drivers' crown in the Formula One World Championship, the BMW Sauber F1 Team has had its championship runner-up position safely wrapped up well before the final in Brazil....
While attention will largely be trained on the three-way battle for the drivers' crown in the Formula One World Championship, the BMW Sauber F1 Team has had its championship runner-up position safely wrapped up well before the final in Brazil. After the technical gremlins that wreaked havoc during the last three grand prix weekends, the team now hopes to cap its successful second season with a strong closing performance.
"For me, the circuit in São Paulo is one of the best of all. It is challenging - both in terms of driving skill and physically. It's an anti-clockwise track and the straight is actually a long sweeping curve that puts your neck muscles under real strain. Then there's the bumpy surface. The best sections come after turn three. Turn five, which is an uphill double right- hander, is one of my favourites. I took my first podium finish in Interlagos in 2001 after coming third. That's something you never forget."
"Of course we are looking forward to Brazil. We will try our best, and then everything we do once we get back to Europe will be new as we will be working for next year. The track itself is very bumpy and quite tricky. There is a big uphill section after the last corner where last year we were losing a lot of speed, especially in the race, so I hope we can do better this year. Though the 2006 race was not bad, I only finished ninth, and this year I want to score points in the season's finale."
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:
"As in previous years, Brazil will again be hosting the final round. The winner of the title was decided in the final race there in 2006. Likewise, this year we won't know who the champion is until the Interlagos event. With three candidates vying for the laurels, fans can look forward to a gripping finale."
"The circuit is very varied, as indeed is the weather. Engine performance is key on the start/finish straight, which is not only long but also on an incline. This uphill section also makes for an exciting race start. One salient feature of the venue is the altitude of São Paulo: due to the thinner air here, engine power is curtailed by around eight percent compared with driving at sea level."
"For the BMW Sauber F1 Team this has been a successful season. We can be proud of what we have achieved, both in terms of our development work over the winter and the pace of development during the season. In our two start-up years we have reached our target each time. In 2007 we started out from fifth place in the World Championship - with 36 championship points earned in our debut season. Fourth place with a clear points increase was a firm commitment, third place an option."
"It was very gratifying to be able to see ourselves as the third-strongest team right from the start and to shore up that position in virtually every race. An administrative decision even handed us second place on a plate, but that really doesn't mean anything to us as we know there are still four cars that are faster than ours. Our aim is to beat them out on the race track."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director:
"The most crucial sector at Interlagos is the middle one where there's one turn after another. It calls for plenty of downforce, good traction and balance. Maximum speed is key in the first and third sectors, with the uphill section of the start/finish straight demanding substantial engine output."
"One feature at Interlagos that should not be underrated is the track surface. Even though it has undergone several improvements, the circuit still makes for quite a bumpy ride. That has to be taken into consideration for the mechanical set-up. After two rather mixed-bag grands prix, we want to pull out all the stops again for our last race and see out a very successful season on a positive note."
-credit: bmw sauber