BMW Sauber F1
|Principals||Mario Thiessen DE (2006-2009)|
|Designers||Willy Rampf DE (2006-2009)|
Team History & Record
After several years out of the sport BMW returned in 2000 supplying engines to Williams. The first season was, as expected, a learning experience but the alliance grew more successful, finishing second in the Constructors Championships in 2002 and 2003. Over the next two seasons, however, the partnership soured and at the end of 2005 BMW decided to become a full team with the purchase of the Swiss based Sauber team.
The 2006 season saw the team putting together a solid engineering and aerodynamics staff while performing satisfactorily, though not spectacularly on the track. Veteran Jacques Villeneuve was replaced before the end of the season by BMW's choice test driver, Pole Robert Kubica and he immediately made a positive impression securing the drive for '07.
2007 saw a major breakthrough and the team established itself as the "best of the rest" (behind the dominant McLaren and Ferrari teams) and thanks to the disqualification of McLaren, finished second in the Constructor's Championship despite not winning a race. Further strides were made in 2008 with Robert Kubica claiming the teams first win (Canada) and first pole position (Bahrain), as well as two fastest race laps by Nick Heidfeld, which kept the team in title contention late into the season.
Full of promise, the team started the 2009 season as one of the teams to beat. Although Kubica and Heidfeld showed well in the opening two races, the pre-season predictions were quickly proved wrong as the team struggled to score further points. Despite being one of the driving forces in the FOTA vs FIA rules fight mid-season, BMW announced in late July that amid mounting losses in the global recession they would withdraw from F1 at the end of the season. Minority owner Peter Sauber attempted to mount a rescue bid for the team but was unable to do so before the deadline to sign the new Concorde Agreement, which would have guaranteed their spot on the grid in 2010. After a takeover by the mysterious Qadbak consortium fell through, BMW then reverted to the deal with Peter Sauber and were given a place for 2010 following Toyota's withdraw from F1.
For 2010 onward, see Team Sauber F1.
|Year||Chassis||Engine||Tyre||# / Driver 1
# / Driver 2
|2006||F1.06||BMW P86 V8||MI||16 Heidfeld
17 J Villeneuve / Kubica
TD Kubica / Vettel
|2007||F1.07||BMW P86/7 V8||BS||9 Heidfeld
10 Kubica / Vettel
|2008||F1.08||BMW P86/8 V8||BS||3 Heidfeld
|2009||F1.09||BMW P86/9 V8||BS||5 Kubica
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