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Theissen: BMW will learn from 2008

BMW motorsport director Mario TheissenBMW motorsport director Mario Theissen is certain his team will learn the lessons from their disappointing second half to the 2008 campaign, as they bid to become genuine world title contenders next year.

The team led the world championship points standings after the Canadian Grand Prix in June, but were unable to match the development rate of rivals McLaren and Ferrari in the second half of the year.

That lack of progress has been singled out as a key factor that BMW Sauber must address for next season, and something Theissen is sure will be analysed in great detail to ensure there is no repeat next year.

"In terms of pure performance, we still have ground to make up on Ferrari and McLaren Mercedes, and we didn't make the progress we hoped to in the second half of the season," said Theissen in a team preview for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"Indeed, some of our development projects did not yield the expected performance gains on the track. But I am certain we shall learn the lessons from this for 2009. After all, we want to be up there fighting for the World Championship title next season."

Despite the feelings about the progress made in the second half of the campaign, Theissen is still delighted with that BMW Sauber delivered on track this year.

"We have achieved our ambitious aims for the third year in succession," he said. "We not only proved to be one of the top teams from the outset, we also recorded our maiden race win. It was all the sweeter, of course, that our success in Canada came in the form of a one two.

"As things stand, we have now had 11 podium finishes this year, compared with two in 2007. This statistic alone is evidence of the considerable steps forward we have made.

"Added to that, Nick (Heidfeld) brought us our first fastest race lap in Malaysia, Robert (Kubica) claimed our first pole position in Bahrain, and we've now scored points in 34 consecutive races, something no other team can match.

"The last time we went home empty-handed from a GP weekend was in Brazil in the final race of 2006. This achievement does not come down to chance. Our trump cards this season have been spotless reliability, our - for the most part - excellent race strategy, outstanding work in the pit stops and a very small number of mistakes from the drivers."

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