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F1 NEWS 

Theissen says drivers ready to win

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen is sure his drivers are ready to fight for victories this year, even though neither has the experience of winning so far in Formula One.

Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica are two of only four driver pairings on the grid that is without an F1 win, but Theissen does not see that as a hindrance to his team's ambitions to claim a maiden victory

"I think at least Nick is quite experienced as well, probably more than some of the other drivers," said Theissen at the launch of the team's new F1.08 at Munich on Monday.

"I see absolutely no reason why he would not win and not be successful in fighting for the championship as soon as the car allows for it."

Although BMW Sauber have set their sights on a maiden victory this year, Theissen thinks it is still too premature to talk about a challenge on the world championship until 2009.

"I think this will be premature," he said about fight for the title this year. "I hope our car will enable our drivers to do similar laptimes (to Ferrari and McLaren) and then certainly that means you are fighting for the top positions in the race.

"But as a team I still think it will take another year to really be settled and be mature enough to go through the entire season with such an ambition."

Theissen also made it clear that his team had no regrets about not pursuing Fernando Alonso, having committed to Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica midway through last season.

"We want to win of course, but I am confident our drivers will win races when the car is ready," he said. "We never had negotiations with Fernando."

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