BMW Sauber: 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix preview 

Written by David on October 27th, 2008 at 2:15 pmLast Update: October 27th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

BMW SauberMario Theissen: “The 2008 Formula One season is now going onto the finishing straight. In 2007 the outcome of the title was only decided in a thrilling final race in Brazil. Perhaps the Formula One fans will also get to enjoy a similarly exciting finale this year. Two drivers still have a chance of becoming World Champion in São Paulo. The Interlagos circuit has many different aspects, and the weather can also be unpredictable. The long, uphill start-finish straight places particularly heavy loads on the engines. This uphill section also makes the start extremely exciting. Another of its characteristic is the altitude of São Paulo. The thin air means that the engines generate approximately eight percent lower output than at sea level. We are very much looking forward to the final race of 2008 and are aiming to record another good result to round off the season. This is the final race in what has been our most successful season since the launch of the BMW Sauber F1 Team. We have achieved our ambitious aims for the third year in succession. 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 brought us our first fastest race lap in Malaysia, Robert claimed our first pole position in Bahrain, and 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. 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. 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..”

Robert Kubica: “Brazil is traditionally the final race of the season, and Interlagos is a very demanding and interesting circuit. My first race there was in 2002 in Formula Renault, and I’ve been back with the BMW Sauber F1 Team for the last two years. Interlagos is physically very tiring because we drive the circuit anticlockwise. That’s something we’re not used to, and we feel it especially in the neck. I’m currently third in the drivers’ standings, six points in front of Kimi, and, of course, it’s my aim to defend this position.

Willy Rampf: “For us, the Brazilian Grand Prix represents the end of a highly successful season, and of course we want to round the year off on a positive note. Interlagos is one of the few circuits – alongside Istanbul Park and Singapore – which we drive anticlockwise. Here, the middle sector is critical, with one corner following the next. The key elements are good traction and car balance. Top speed is important in the first and third sectors, with engine output playing a particularly prominent role on the uphill start-finish straight. This section also offers a good overtaking opportunity, as does the end of the straight in sector one. The track was resurfaced in 2007, which evened out a lot of bumps. In contrast to last year, when we opted for the softest tyre option, this time around we.ll be using the medium compounds.”

Nick Heidfeld: “I’m pleased for the fans, but also personally, that we have an exciting finale to the World Championship. Plus, I’m curious to see whether the track is still the same as it was in 2007. That was a nice surprise, as the track’s surface used to be really bad and very bumpy. It was always being patched up, but it was only when the track was re-asphalted ahead of the 2007 Grand Prix that it really became a good surface. The layout of the Interlagos track is excellent and very demanding on the drivers . not least, of course, as far as our neck muscles are concerned. I think São Paulo.s pretty cool as a city, but at the back of your mind are always the stories about muggings and you hear about that sort of thing every year.”

source: BMW Sauber

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