After much speculation all season that German driver Nick Heidfeld may be dropped from the race-winning BMW team, Mario Theissen announced on Monday that his driver line-up would remain unchanged for the 2009 campaign. The news puts an end to the rumour of Fernando Alonso joining the squad, and confirms Theissen’s faith in his loyal pilots. Theissen also confirmed Christian Klien as the squad’s test driver for next year as well.
BMW are improving at a very steady rate and earlier this year, Polish-driver Robert Kubica took his and the team’s maiden victory. However, while Kubica has enjoyed a relatively good year, Heidfeld has endured troubles, mainly centered around qualifying and generating heat in the Bridgestone tyres. During the races though, Heidfeld’s race-craft and experience have shone through on many occasions and the team have done well yet again in retaining their pair of drivers.
Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld ave quite different styles when it comes to driving, and this may attribute to the incinsistencies in the results this season. Heidfeld has suffered the brunt of disappointment, but it should be noted that Kubica has also experienced troubles with the F1.08. Despite this though, both are very talented and combining experience with youth is a good way to go, in my opinion.
We see Nick and Robert as a strong driver pairing and Christian as an experienced test driver. We are in no doubt that we will again achieve our ambitious aims with them in the team’s fourth year. Mario Theissen.
The former Sauber and Williams driver was pleased with the announcement, and spoke of achieving everything he and the team set out to do this season. Of course, team mate Kubica has gone one better, but providing the F1.09 is a continuation of the squad’s improvement, then there is little reason why Heidfeld cannot take his maiden victory next year.
I’ve always said that I was happy to stay with BMW Sauber because we’ve managed to achieve what we set out to do at this stage and I really hope that we will be battling it out for the title itself next year.
There have been times this season when neither I nor the team could honestly say that we were satisfied with the way things were going, but we have always pulled together and come through. Nick Heidfeld.
This news almost wraps up the silly-season for this year. Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Williams, Toyota, Red Bull Racing and Force India are sorted for pilots. The only seats yet to be confirmed are the two at Renault, the two at STR and one at Honda.