BMW targeting fault-free Monaco weekend 18 May 2007
After the trials and tribulations of their Spanish race, BMW Sauber are aiming for a trouble-free Monaco Grand Prix next weekend. The team believe they have solved the issues which caused Nick Heidfelds early retirement in Barcelona - and those which led to his bungled pit stop
Although team mate Robert Kubica crossed the line fourth in Spain to glean five points, Heidfelds race ended on lap 46 after his F1.07s gearbox failed. The German had earlier suffered a near-disastrous pit stop, which saw him leave the pits with the tyre gun still attached to his right-front wheel and the wheel nut flying off into the path of a Toyota mechanic.
We managed to get to the bottom of the gearbox problem in Barcelona before the race day was over, and corrective measures were already being applied during the test in Paul Ricard, explained BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen.
We have also worked through Nick's botched-up pit stop and learnt the lessons for any future incidents. For us in Monte Carlo it's a case of notching up a fault-free weekend and further cementing our third place in the constructors' standings.
At this weeks French test the BMW Sauber has looked promising around Paul Ricards 2D SC configuration, designed to imitate the twists and turns of Monaco. The team covered over 250 laps of this shortened version of the track, with tester Timo Glock clocking the eighth-fastest time on Tuesday and Kubica finishing fourth on Wednesday.
The F1.07 has undergone extensive aerodynamic modifications for the high-downforce Monte Carlo race and will also feature a new front axle designed specifically to cope with the street circuits unusually tight corners. Another plus for the German-Swiss team is that both cars will be fitted with fresh V8s - a bonus for Monaco, one of the most demanding circuits on an engines lower rev range.
BMW Sauber lie third in the constructors standings on 23 points, 26 behind second-placed Ferrari, and 12 ahead of their nearest rivals, Renault.