BMW Sauber have launched their 2007 car – the F1.07 – at Valencia, marking the fourth Formula One car to be launched so far. Drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica were present at the unveiling, supported by test drivers Sebastian Vettel and Timo Glock. BMWs Motorsport Driector Mario Thiessen was als on hand to discuss the new car, and the intended future of BMW in F1 and set out the teams goals for the upcoming season.
In 2006 we exceeded our own targets. Now expectations are rising faster than the team can develop. That’s the punishment for excelling yourself. 2007 marks the second and final year of our development phase. Our aim is to make it onto the podium on our own merit. If the leading teams show any sign of weakness, we want to be ready to breach the gap. Victories on our own merit are not yet a realistic prospect for 2007. We are aiming for that in 2008. In 2009 we want to be in contention for the World Championship title.
We are very satisfied with our line-up. Nick is our experienced man. He is fast and reliable, and has the know-how to take the team forward. All that makes him a firm fixture and an important reference point for the technicians and the other drivers. Robert has already proved how fast he is, and he will catch up on the experience front. The two of them work well together and engage in healthy competition out on the track. As for Sebastian, we will be giving him the opportunity to drive on Fridays as well. He will learn from the other two. We will be further supported by Timo, who is not only fast but has also built up a great deal of experience already.
Lead driver Nick Heidfeld discussed next year, but was cautious not to over-hype expectations:
After our good maiden season we now have to continue along our set path. But one can’t expect too much, because the higher you go, the more rarefied the atmosphere. In our first year we collected 36 points and came fifth in the world championship. But the fourth-placed team had 86 points. That’s worlds apart.