Lauda: BMW will be even stronger next year

Former F1 Champ Niki Lauda reckons BMW can give McLaren and Ferrari a run for the titles in next year's Championship.

BMW started the 2008 Championship in strong form, claiming four podium finishes in the opening six races. However, it was in Canada where the team really came to the fore with Robert Kubica winning the grand prix ahead of team-mate Nick Heidfeld.

The team's solid results continued with Kubica firmly in the running for the Drivers' title before BMW's performances started to falter as they failed to match the development rate of rivals McLaren and Ferrari.

The team eventually finished third in the Constructors' Championship on 135 points while Kubica was fourth in the Drivers' standings.

However, next season Lauda reckons BMW could prove to be even stronger, posing a very real threat to McLaren and Ferrari.

"BMW Sauber had a very strong package at some races, and were able to translate the performance and reliability of the car (combined with their drivers' skills) into results on the racetrack," the Austrian told the official F1 website.

"But you could also see that they were unable to do this on tracks where their car showed a weakness in pace.

"Overall, though, you can see that they are on the right path in their development, and they can probably be as strong, or even stronger next season.

"I do not think that they had a problem with their sudden success, as the team has a very high grade of experienced personnel and they should easily be able to cope with success."

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