Swiss-German team BMW today unveiled their third car to compete in Formula One, named the F1.08 and launched in Munich to the waiting media. The car appears to be a substantial development over last years F1.07 which performed well at the hands of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica. Both drivers remain at the helm while test driver Timo Glock (now racing for Toyota) will be replaced, although no name has yet been given. Having finished 2007 in second place behind Ferrari, the team were essentially the third fastest as McLaren were disqualified. However, the squad have been buoyant all winter and expect to be fighting for more podiums and possibly a maiden victory in 2008.
We have come quite a long way in the two and a half years since the new team was created. We’ve had two strong seasons. We’ve put a lot of effort into the new car and the F1.08 includes everything we’ve learned in the first two years. Certainly we are very confident to turn the battle in front of us into a battle of more than two teams this year.
If you look back to what we achieved last year we can claim to have been the third strongest force on the grid while we were ramping up the team. So we are at full strength now and we are really looking forward to the new season. Mario Theissen.
The Hinwil factory, where BMW are sited following the aquisition of Sauber in 2005, now holds 430 employees, while the factory in Munich has a staff count of 300. According to Thiessen, this is mid-field size, but BMW have big ambitions, extensive resources and are looking to make a leap forward this season.
I am very, very excited because I know the people in the factory are quite happy with the progress. And honestly it is the most beautiful car I have ever seen. I know that doesn’t mean anything in terms of speed, but just because of that I’m looking forward to the next couple of days and weeks even more.
In theory we should be able to close the gap further to the cars ahead of us and the clear goal for us this year is to win a race. Nick Heidfeld.