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Theissen: BMW Sauber not giving up on 2008 04 Aug 2008

(L to R): Beat Zehnder (SUI) BMW Sauber F1 Team Manager and Dr Mario Theissen (GER) BMW Sauber F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary,  Friday, 1 August 2008 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.08.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 3 August 2008 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.08.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 2 August 2008

Team principal Mario Theissen has insisted BMW Sauber will not be abandoning 2008 development work, despite their recent dip in form that saw them score just a single point in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, dropping them into third place in the constructors’ standings for the first time this season.

Theissen admitted he was mystified by the F1.08s lack of race pace in Budapest, where neither Robert Kubica, who finished eighth having started fourth, nor Nick Heidfeld, who came home 10th, were able to clock the lap times the team had predicted - on either Bridgestone tyre compound.

“The Hungarian GP turned out to be a race we virtually weren't involved in,” Theissen told the official BMW Sauber website. “We have not yet detected the reasons but we will analyse what happened. To do so, we will take a close look at the interplay of car, tyres, track conditions and temperatures. This analysis will be carried out at home in Munich and Hinwil, as we aren't allowed to go testing due to the testing ban prior to the next race.”

BMW Sauber’s excellent performances earlier in the season, including their maiden win and one-two finish in Canada, mean they are almost certain to finish at least third in the championship, as they are currently 55 points clear of fourth-placed Toyota.

With such a secure position in the standings, the German-Swiss team could be forgiven for switching their development efforts exclusively to their 2009 machine, but Theissen is adamant they will not throw in the towel on 2008 just yet.

“We won't reduce our development pace for the remainder of the season,” he continued. “Our goal for the remaining three European rounds and four overseas races is to build on the good results scored in the first half of the season. We still have several improvements in the pipeline that should help us return to the road to success.”

BMW Sauber now trail McLaren by 10 points in the standings, with leaders Ferrari a further 11 points ahead.