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Heidfeld hopeful on BMW's title chances

Nick Heidfeld is hopeful the BMW Sauber team can be involved in the fight for the championship this season

The German squad finished in third position last year, having scored one victory, and have openly admitted their goal for 2009 is to fight for the titles.

Heidfeld admits his target is to be able to extract the maximum from the F1.09 car all season long, and he is optimistic his team will be able to achieve their objectives once again.

"My goal is to get everything possible out of the car and the situation on each lap and each race weekend," said Heidfeld on Friday.

"What is actually possible is determined to a large degree by our technical performance.

"The aim of the team is to be involved in the title battle in 2009. In the past few years we have always met our intermediate targets and I hope we manage to do that again in 2009."

Heidfeld, who posted the fastest time on the final day of testing at Jerez on Thursday, said he has been very pleased with the development of the car so car in testing.

"This year our preparations have been like a journey of discovery," the German added. "There are so many new things about the car which all of us have had to get to grips with, and that's a lot of fun. As far as I'm concerned, the testing we've conducted so far has been very positive.

"The F1.09 is already driving pretty well for a completely newly developed car and it reacts well to changes in set-up.

"We can still improve on reliability but at no time have we been confronted by unsolvable problems and we have racked up more miles than several of our rivals. However, the restrictions on testing mean that every lost mile on the track tends to hurt.

"We've been able to make consistent improvements and still have a lot more ideas which we can develop."

The BMW driver, however, concedes it is impossible to tell how strong his team are yet.

"Unfortunately, I can't say where this puts us in comparison with our rivals - everybody keeps their cards close to their chests in testing.

"You never know exactly what kind of programme the other teams are running, let alone how much fuel they have on board. I'll be happy when all the guessing games come to an end in Melbourne."

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