Theissen determined to fight for title
|By Jonathan Noble and Steven English||Tuesday, January 20th 2009, 09:35 GMT|
A bullish BMW Sauber have set their sights on a serious bid for the world championship this year, after unveiling their new F1.09 at Valencia in Spain on Tuesday.
BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said the Hinwil-based outfit remained on target for a tilt at 2009 title glory, having set out such ambitions when the German car manufacturer took over Sauber in 2006.
"We communicated our target 2009 four years ago," said Theissen in a press conference straight after the unveiling of the F1.09. "We set out a plan aiming at the first points in 2006, the first podium in 2007, to win in 2008, and we then stated that we want to fight for the championship from this year onwards.
"So far all targets have been met, so there is no reason to abandon the final and most important target. We want to fight for the title with the big two other teams and whoever else is up there."
Theissen believes his team are well prepared for the challenges that lay ahead with new regulations, having been one of the only teams to run an interim specification machine in winter testing last year.
"It was clear to us that the opportunity to test before the end of the year was very valuable," he explained. "Meanwhile, the change to the sporting regulations placed a severe restriction on testing. We were very happy with the work with it."
Theissen also thinks that his team will benefit from the raft of cost-cutting measures introduced this year, as his outfit were always reluctant to spend too much in becoming competitive.
"We have seen the end of the big spending race in 2008, it is a real turning point," he said. "We had foreseen that in a way when we established the structure of the new team a few years ago.
"We never wanted to become the biggest spending team. We tried to maintain the efficiency of the original Sauber team. That helps us in the current situation. We are well prepared."