BMW impressively launched their 2008 challenger this afternoon at the Welt building in Munich, allowing visiting press to speak with the team and drivers about their aspirations for the upcoming season. Team boss Mario Thiessen believes the F1.08 is a large step forward over its predecessor, the F1.07. Meanwhile, Nick Heidfeld is hoping for the teams maiden victory this year and breaking the stranglehold McLaren and Ferrari have over the front of the grid.
Robert Kubica, piloting the second car for his second full season, is also hopeful of a race win in 2008, mirroring his team mates comments.
Let’s hope as Nick mentioned we have done really big progress compared to 2006/2007 and I believe all people who have worked on this car have given maximum. We have the right people in right place to show to the fans that maybe we can win a race this season.
I know a bit more than everybody who is here about the new car and I believe this car will help me and Nick to maybe win a race. We have to maximize our performance and score as many points as possible, and let’s hope we have much more points as last season. Robert Kubica.
BMW’s technical director Willy Rampf is confident the car can challenge Ferrari and McLaren, but is also remaining cautious about their development over the winter and refused to get involved in any possible hype that may be growing.
We are confident, but it all depends on the competition and we will see in Melbourne how strong the competition is. With the product we see here we are confident.
To achieve the target of having a more stable and forgiving car, one is aero to be very stable and not losing downforce during cornering, and in mechanical side to have good feedback and improve grip levels. The most obvious part that is different is the front wing, it is quite a massive front wing, but with this we achieve that it is less sensitive in cornering to side winds. The turning vanes optimized to have higher downforce levels, so aero efficiency is one of the main issues.
The biggest changes are on the electronic side, the ban of TC and engine braking, so overall we expect the cars will be more nervous and drivers easier to make mistakes and one of the keys was to make a car more stable and more forgiving and one that gives good feedback to the driver. Willy Rampf.
And aside from launching a new car, BMW also spoke of the recent suggestion from Honda regarding budget capping in Formula One. It seems as though the Swiss-German team are in favour of the idea, brought back to the table by Ross Brawn earlier in the month.
Cost reduction certainly is desirable, we support that and have always supported that, and the idea of a budget cap I think it looks at a first glance quite attractive.
We should at least spend some time on evaluating how it could work – what would be the cap, what would be included and how to police it. I would certainly prefer a budget cap over a limitation in specific areas. Mario Thiessen.
And continuing his thoughtful and insightful prose on the current state of the regulations, Mario spoke words that echo just about every fan of the sport; he disagrees with the limiting of wind tunnel usage, citing policing as a very good reason.
Firstly it [wind tunnel capping] would not be fair because all the different teams come from different baselines. Secondly it’s almost impossible to police and thirdly I think the challenge is to spend our resource where you get the most performance. Mario Thiessen.
I think I have a new candidate for the successor of Max Mosley, as Mario has just climbed another couple of rungs on my respect ladder.