Interview with BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen
What does this one-two result mean for you personally and for the BMW Sauber F1 Team?
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen: "Montreal was a first for the BMW Sauber F1 Team: now we all know how sweet victory tastes - not just a victory, but a one-two, of course. This was reward for the enthusiasm, the commitment and the expertise which marks us out as a team. It has been less than three years since the decision was taken to put the team together. We set ourselves ambitious goals and embarked on a two-year development program which has laid the groundwork for achieving these aims. As things stand we are right on schedule - and in this respect, the result in Montreal represents confirmation of the work we've been doing. We are heading in the right direction and will continue along this path."
The one-two means you have already achieved the aim for the season of recording a race win. Are you now setting your sights higher?
Theissen: "Our target for the 2008 season was to turn the two-horse race at the top of the standings into a three-way battle and to win our first race. Our one-two result in Montreal means we have achieved both goals after just seven races of the season. Clearly, we are not about to sit back and relax now. The whole team is hugely motivated and is looking to build on our success so far. However, that does not mean that we will be deviating from our course. The next goal is always the next race, and that is where our focus lies. For us it is all about using our strengths and ensuring that we are there to take advantage if our rivals make mistakes. With this attitude within the team, I think we have a good chance of exceeding expectations again this season."
Do you see Robert or the BMW Sauber F1 Team as serious contenders in the battle for the World Championship title?
Theissen: "Nobody who is at the top of the Drivers' World Championship after seven races is there by accident. The team and drivers have been working their way gradually towards the top of the standings over two years. We certainly won't be taking our foot off the gas now, but instead pushing forward at full power. We can talk about the results at the end of the season."
Where do you stand in terms of driver negotiations for next year?
Theissen: "Good results attract covetous glances. Other teams think one or other driver is responsible. And other drivers think the credit lies with the car. As far as the driver situation at the team for 2009 is concerned, we are in no rush with our discussions. We won't be commenting on any developments in this area until they reach a conclusion."
Now that you're in with a chance of winning the World Championship, will you be channeling resources away from the development of the F1.09 in order to make the F1.08 even faster?
Theissen: "The challenge, of course, is to keep up with the development pace of the big teams over the course of this season and, at the same time, to push ahead with conceptual work on the F1.09. To this end, we will assign the available capacity very precisely to the areas where we need it, especially when it comes to aerodynamics."