BMW proud ahead of final F1 race

BMW motorsport boss Mario Theissen says he has been proud of what his team has achieved since joining Formula 1, ahead of its final race in Abu Dhabi

BMW proud ahead of final F1 race

The Hinwil-based squad has been sold to a Swiss company after BMW decided to leave the sport at the end of the season.

There is still a lot of uncertainty about the team's future, however, as it has no place on the grid for 2010.

Theissen admitted he feels sad as he faces BMW's final race in Formula 1.

"We will travel to Abu Dhabi with mixed feelings," said Theissen in a team preview. "The eight points we collected in Brazil have allowed us to move up a place in the Constructors' Championship, and we will be highly motivated once again at the final race of the season.

"We are looking forward to racing at the new Formula 1 venue and can't wait to experience the atmosphere at the marina circuit.

"However, there will of course also be a fair amount of sadness within the team as we set off for Abu Dhabi. After all, this will be our 70th and final race with the BMW Sauber F1 Team."

The team boss said, however, that he was very proud of what BMW has achieved in the last four seasons, despite a poor 2009.

"With the exception of our fourth and unfortunately final season, I'm more than satisfied with what we have achieved since 2006," he said. "In the first three years after the team was founded, we met - and even exceeded - all the aims we set ourselves.

"We recorded two podium finishes in our first season on the grid, and in our second season we established ourselves as the third-strongest team in the championship. This was the year in which Robert suffered his horrific crash in Montreal. It felt like an eternity until we finally heard the good news that he was OK.

"The relief meant we were able to celebrate Nick's second place in suitable style. It was in Montreal a year later that we enjoyed our greatest success. From the moment that Robert and Nick crossed the finish line in quick succession to record a 1-2 result, there was no stopping us.

"We remained part of a three-way battle for the title almost until the end of the season. We notched up 11 podium finishes in total in 2008 and our reliability was excellent.

"Of course, the whole team is disappointed that we have been unable to build on this success in 2009, as we had hoped to have a say in the title race. But we have never thrown in the towel, even after BMW announced its withdrawal from Formula 1, which shows the strong character of our team.

"I hope that the successor to the BMW Sauber F1 Team will continue along this successful path in Formula 1."

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