Give BMW Time, Says Heidfeld

German driver Nick Heidfeld believes the BMW team will need time before they can fight at the top in Formula One

Give BMW Time, Says Heidfeld

The German carmaker has taken over the Sauber team and will race under its own name in 2006, but Heidfeld, who was the first driver to be confirmed at the outfit, reckons it's far too early to start thinking of winning races.

"I think a win is too high an aim for our first season," Heidfeld told Autosport. "We will have to see where Sauber finish at the end of this year and then set a target for next year from that. They will probably be eighth this year, so it's unlikely we  will be able to win the World Championship starting from there.

"It will take time to integrate people and organise new ways of working under the team's new ownership but once that has done I think we can build into something very strong. We will be looking for the bigger results to come in 2007 and particularly in 2008.

"The first target is to get Sauber's wind tunnel working 24/7. At the moment it is only working at something like 50 percent capacity, but finding the right people to work in a tunnel like that isn't something you can do in a few minutes."

Heidfeld, however, warned that BMW will be determined to win titles.

"I think they will just try to make the most of what they have," he added. "But clearly BMW doesn't want to finish eighth in the Championship, which is probably where Sauber will finish this year. Sauber knows how to do better - it finished fourth in 2001 - but BMW has a very clear goal of wanting to win the World Championship.

"They have a lot of experience and they have taken the world title before as an engine manufacturer, but now the target is to do it as a team. It's not just a question of spending a huge amount of money.

"I think they have seen other teams do that in recent years without much success and I'm pretty sure they will want to avoid that. I don't think BMW will want to make the same mistakes."

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