JANUARY 16, 2007

The new BMW F1.07

The new BMW Sauber F1.07 has been unveiled in Valencia this morning with the Hinwil-based team keen to score regular podium finishes in F1 this year.

"In 2006 we exceeded our own targets," said BMW's Dr Mario Thiessen. "Now expectations are rising faster than the team can develop. That?s the punishment for excelling yourself. Two thousand and seven marks the second and final year of our development phase. Our aim is to make it onto the podium on our own merit. If the leading teams show any sign of weakness, we want to be ready to breach the gap. Victories on our own merit are not yet a realistic prospect for 2007. We are aiming for that in 2008. In 2009 we want to be in contention for the World Championship title.

The team has a strong driver line-up in Nick Heidfeld, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel and Timo Glock.

"Nick is our experienced man," said Theissen. "He is fast and reliable, and has the know-how to take the team forward. All that makes him a firm fixture and an important reference point for the technicians and the other drivers. Robert has already proved how fast he is, and he will catch up on the experience front. The two of them work well together and engage in healthy competition out on the track. As for Sebastian, we will be giving him the opportunity to drive on Fridays as well. He will learn from the other two. We will be further supported by Timo, who is not only fast but has also built up a great deal of experience already."

The team is expanding all the time with the plan being to have 430 staff by the end of the season and a new building in Hinwil to allow the team to expand. The team, which also has 300 people in Munich, will then be one of the biggest in F1.