Theissen: BMW Sauber are back in business 11 May 2009
BMW Sauber may have only scored two points in Sundays Spanish Grand Prix, but team principal Mario Theissen is convinced that the team have made significant progress with the revised car they introduced in Barcelona.
We know one thing for definite: the modifications have improved the BMW Sauber F1.09, he told the teams website following Nick Heidfelds seventh-place finish. We have a taken a big step forwards, and are back in business.
Rather than introducing incremental changes at previous races, BMW Sauber chose to concentrate on a major upgrade package for Spain, including a new nose, sidepods and rear wing, plus revisions to the front wing, engine cover and diffuser.
The changes lifted BMW Sauber back into Q3 for the first time since the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of April, and Robert Kubica might well have qualified far higher than tenth had it not been for a tyre-fitting error. A clutch problem at the start hampered the Poles race, but excellent strategy helped lift team mate Heidfeld from 13th on the grid and into the points on his 32nd birthday.
The measures are taking effect and the foundation has been laid, insisted Theissen. We have something we can build on. The result has, of course, lightened the mood in the camp, as there is now a recognisable upward trend. That gives me confidence for the races ahead.
That confidence is based not just on faith, but on more updates that are already scheduled for the F1.09. After dropping KERS for the Spanish race - and most likely the next round in Monaco - BMW expect to have a new version of the system ready for next months Turkish Grand Prix.
Our goal is to use both a modified KERS and a multi-level diffuser in Istanbul, confirmed Theissen. More development packages are in the pipeline for 2009.
After Barcelona, BMW Sauber lie sixth in the constructors table, level with Ferrari on six points. However, the middle-order standings are very close, with fourth-placed McLaren only seven points ahead.