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Theissen delighted with progress

NEWS STORY
08/07/2008

After an obvious 'wobble' in France, BMW was back on form at Silverstone at the weekend, with Nick Heidfeld taking a convincing second place and Robert Kubica looking good for a strong points finish until being caught out by the atrocious conditions.

Having reached the halfway point in the season, still running second to Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship, and ahead of McLaren, and with both drivers in the top five of the Drivers' Championship, team boss Mario Theissen is delighted.

"In the first nine rounds of the season we have scored a total of 82 points, secured seven podium finishes and scored in every single round," said the German. "We hold second position in the Constructors' Championship, 14 points behind Ferrari and 10 points ahead of McLaren. In the Drivers' Championship, Robert lies just two points behind the three joint leaders - it would have been difficult to come up with a better script for the German Grand Prix, to be held in two weeks time at Hockenheim.

"We wanted to turn the duel at the front end of the field into a three-way battle and win our first race," he continued. "We have succeeded in doing so. From now on, our goal will always be the forthcoming race. And when the season is over, we will see what we have been able to achieve. Regarding lap times, Ferrari and McLaren are still some fractions faster than us. But when it comes to the reliability of our cars, the work of our pit crews and race strategy, we are also a top team. I'm particularly delighted with the fact that we have not only succeeded in realising all our goals early but have also progressed consistently."

It was a particularly good weekend for Heidfeld, who has struggled at times this season, particularly compared to his teammate.

"He drove a great race," said Theissen, "and once again he delivered some spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. I'm particularly delighted with this success as he has had his difficulties recently. From his fifth position on the grid, he displayed the perfect mix of aplomb and fighting spirit and was rewarded with a fine second place, his third runner-up finish of the season to date.

"We now will give our very best to make full use of our chances in 2008 without neglecting the development of the BMW Sauber F1.09," he added. "Realising this task represents a major challenge, particularly in consideration of the radical rule changes for the 2009 season. Next year, we will have to cope with completely new aerodynamics, the return of slick tyres and the introduction of KERS. A challenge we will meet with the same motivation and energy that has helped us make it to where we are today. The coming months will be exciting - not only on the track but also in Munich and Hinwil. We are looking forward to it.

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