Budapest and Monza: In 2006, these two GP venues proved to be especially fruitful hunting grounds for the new BMW Sauber F1 Team. Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica achieved two podium finishes here. With just three more days before the Team Launch in Valencia, we look back over the past year.
Having started from eight place in the manufacturers' championship, the BMW Sauber F1 Team managed to move up to fifth position in 2006. One of the two drivers successfully finished in the top ten in qualifying on 12 occassions. Both drivers managed to finish in the top ten in the qualifying session on seven occasions. Overall, the team managed to collect 36 World Championshop points.
Nick provided the first podium finish for the young team at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where he kept his cool in a spectacular race, eventually finishing in third position on a wet track. Robert also surprised F1 experts and fans around the globe. Thanks to a perfect aerodynamic package and an excellent driving performance, the Pole secured third place at the Italian Grand Prix. In only his third race, Robert joined Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen on the podium.
"We've exceeded our expectations with what we've achieved," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "But far more important was the way we consistently improved our performance throughout the season, and that shows we are on the right track. But we'll only be happy when we close the gap on the top teams."
The team is now looking to go to the next level with the BMW Sauber F1.07. The car will be presented at the 'Feria de Valencia' on 16th January.Source BMW Sauberf1