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BMW Sauber take heart from McLaren renaissance 28 Jul 2009

BMW Motorsport director Dr Mario Theissen watches the action from the pit wall, 2009 British Grand Prix Nick Heidfeld (GER), BMW Sauber, BMW Sauber F1.09, Hungarian Grand Prix 2009, Hungaroring, Sunday, 26 July 2009. © Martin Trenkler Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 26 July 2009

BMW Sauber boss Mario Theissen says McLaren’s victory in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix will motivate his team, serving as proof that it is possible to recover from a poor start to the season and win.

BMW Sauber scored 135 points last year. In 2009 they have managed just eight. However, with McLaren having taken only 14 prior to their Hungaroring triumph, Theissen believes his team’s form could change just as rapidly.

“It is remarkable how quickly the balance of power has shifted this year,” Theissen told BMW Sauber’s website. “The entire field is tightly packed, and whoever manages to enhance the performance of their car significantly can make massive strides forward. That is encouraging, and provides a big incentive for our team.”

BMW Sauber have struggled to get a handle on the F1.09’s lack of performance, though there were signs of progress in Hungary. Nick Heidfeld was second fastest in Saturday’s final practice and Theissen believes both he and team mate Robert Kubica would have made Q3 had it not been for a mix of traffic, yellow flags and driver errors.

“Nick had proven the potential of the car,” he said. “Naturally the opposition doesn’t show their full hands during Saturday morning’s session, but our performance was still solid and thus we knew the car had the speed to post top-ten times.”

Despite making up places at the start, both drivers races were also blighted by traffic, with Heidfeld eventually finishing 11th and Kubica 13th. Nevertheless, Theissen insists development of the F1.09 will continue ‘unabated’, with updates planned for the forthcoming European Grand Prix and for later in the season.

“A new aero package is scheduled for introduction at Valencia after the summer break, and we have a comprehensive development package planned for Singapore,” he added.

In line with an agreement between all the teams, BMW Sauber will close their factory for two weeks at the start of August before heading to Spain for the next round.