Mario Theissen looks back on the Brazilian Grand Prix - the 2008 season finale that took place yesterday. At the same time, the BMW Motorsport Director also focuses on preparations for the 2009 Formula One season.
Mario Theissen: "Since Sunday afternoon, the most successful season in the BMW Sauber F1 Team's still short history is over, and we can be proud of what we have achieved. Once again, I want to thank our entire staff for the great effort. No matter if at the racetrack or while testing, in Hinwil or Munich, in the day or during the night shift - everybody involved in this project wants it to be successful. And one thing is certain: the path we have chosen is the right one, and therefore, we will keep on rigorously pursuing it. With immediate effect we will fully focus on the BMW Sauber F1.09. After all, after the season is before the season.
"In 2009, Formula One will have to face arguably the most dramatic rule changes in the history of the sport. Due to the aerodynamic restrictions, the appearance of the single-seaters will differ massively from this year's Formula One cars. To cut a long story short: the front will be bulkier, there won't be any winglets and superstructures in front of and on the side pods respectively - and the rear wing will be smaller and positioned higher.
"Furthermore, slicks will make their comeback. In addition, the introduction of the KERS technology for the recovery of brake energy is in the offing. As a result, drivers will have to adapt to new situations in three vital areas of their working environment. And the engineers will have to carry out a lot of work.
"In consideration of this situation, a shift in the balance of power on the 2009 Formula One grid is entirely possible. In both Munich and Hinwil, we have been working flat-out on the developments for the coming season and the work on the different projects is progressing as scheduled, so far.
"The roll-out of the BMW Sauber F1.09 has been scheduled for 20th January at Valencia. Afterwards, we will conduct three further tests before the 2009 season kicks off in Melbourne on 29th March - some weeks later than was the case in recent years. The challenges are big but we will stick to our ambitious goal: in 2009, we want to be one of the teams battling it out for the title."Source BMW Sauber