Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Theissen: BMW Sauber are back in business 11 May 2009

Dr Mario Theissen (GER) BMW Sauber F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 4 April 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 9 May 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1 celebrates his birthday.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 10 May 2009 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 9 May 2009

BMW Sauber may have only scored two points in Sunday’s 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 team’s website following Nick Heidfeld’s 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 Pole’s 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 month’s 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.