Theissen hails BMW Saubers best season yet 24 Oct 2008
Ahead of next weekends Brazilian season finale, BMW Saubers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld are sitting comfortably third and fifth in the drivers standings, while the team are still in contention to finish second in the constructors championship.
And as the final race of 2008 beckons, BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen has praised his teams progress this season and promised that they will do all they can to remain frontrunners next year.
"This has been our most successful season since the launch of the BMW Sauber F1 Team, said Theissen. We have achieved our ambitious aims for the third year in succession. As things stand, we have now had 11 podium finishes this year, compared with two in 2007. This statistic alone is evidence of the considerable steps forward we have made.
Indeed, BMW Sauber are just 10 points adrift of McLaren in the constructors standings and, unlikely as it may seem, could still finish second to leaders Ferrari at Interlagos next Sunday.
As well as their impressive haul of points, the team have also recorded several milestones this season, with Heidfeld clinching their first fastest lap in Malaysia and Kubica scoring their maiden pole in Bahrain and, most importantly, their first victory in Canada back in June. For Theissen, however, one of his proudest achievements remains the teams bulletproof reliability.
The last time we went home empty-handed from a GP weekend was in Brazil in the final race of 2006, he explained. We've now scored points in 34 consecutive races, something no other team can match. This achievement does not come down to chance. Our trump cards this season have been spotless reliability, our - for the most part - excellent race strategy, outstanding work in the pit stops and a very small number of mistakes from the drivers.
Despite their achievements, Theissen has not been lulled into a false sense of security and is as determined as ever to make sure that the team improve ahead of the 2009 season.
"In terms of pure performance, we still have ground to make up on Ferrari and McLaren Mercedes, and we didn't make the progress we hoped to in the second half of the season, he added. Indeed, some of our development projects did not yield the expected performance gains on the track. But I am certain we shall learn the lessons from this for 2009. After all, we want to be up there fighting for the world championship title next season."