Topics: Monaco Grand Prix, BMW-Sauber
May 31, 2007
With the fifth race of the current Formula One season already in the books, Team BMW Sauber is happy with their performance. The two drivers of the team took the fifth and sixth spots at the Monaco Grand Prix. Robert Kubica posted his second best finish this season at fifth place while teammate Nick Heidfeld manages to latch on to the sixth spot. Team boss Mario Theissen credited their good showing to the lessons that the team has learned in the previous Monaco Grand Prix. Last year, Heidfeld only finished on the seventh place while then teammate Jacques Villneuve finished 14th. This poor showing came after both drivers qualified on the eight row of the starting grid.
This year, the team has taken steps to make sure that their cars can take on the challenges of the narrow tracks. Theissen said that what they have learned in the past has helped them at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix. “Compared to last year's Monaco Grand Prix, we have been able to score a significantly better result,” he said. He continued that: “We had one of our most difficult races here in 2006. Therefore we concentrated on setting up the car more precisely for this unique track, especially with regards aerodynamics and chassis.” These preparations started at the tests in the Paul Ricard circuit and continued in the practice session at the Circuit de Monaco.
Theissen pointed out his team’s mechanical adjustments which were done to their cars. “We introduced a new front wing and added further aerodynamic changes. We also fitted new power steering and made changes to the steering geometry,” he expresses. These changes have made a difference for the team which led them to a 5-6 finish at the Monaco Grand Prix. The improvements they have made to the aerodynamics of their Formula One cars increased traction which is of utmost importance in a narrow track such as the Circuit de Monaco. Whether this development will show the path ahead for the team like a BMW fog light shows the way for a BMW car will be seen come the next races of the season.
Theissen admitted that the tracks at the next two races which will be held in North America will have different requirements than their last race. In spite of that, Theissen is confident that they will continue their good showing at the Canadian and United States Grand Prix. “We are full of confidence for the back-to-back races in North America, though these tracks have completely different requirements,” he said.