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BMW Sauber and the Nordschliefe

There is some irony in the fact that Sauber arrived in F1 after having achieved success in sportscar racing with Mercedes yet now are BMW’s effort in the sport. From the first, the team looked effective and produced some pretty good cars over the years; in BMW’s hands, however, they begin to look like winners.


Nick Heidfeld in Bahrain

The progress made last year was excellent and it has continued this season with Nick Heidfeld surely ready to bring them their first victory soon. Robert Kubica has had some bad luck so far but will be in there punching with Nick before long. At the very least, BMW should achieve third in the constructor’s championship this year.

I have not had a favorite team since the sad demise of Brabham several years ago, but I think BMW can claim that spot now. Everything about the team is so darn impressive. Progress has been steady and unrelenting, without drama or fanfare, the cars are beautifully finished and perform beyond expectations, the drivers excel, with quick Nick proving me completely wrong in thinking his motivation lacking. What more could one ask for?

Yet there is more; have a look at the team’s website – it is as slick, professional and effective as their cars. And you will see that, on April 28, Nick Heidfeld will be driving the BMW F1.07 around the Nordschliefe at Nurburgring – the first time an F1 car has lapped the circuit in 31 years.

That alone is enough to make an F1 fan grateful to BMW, surely. Yes, it’s an exercise in public relations but what an effective one! To see how a modern F1 car handles the greatest of all circuits is the stuff of dreams.

Everything looks good at BMW now – they are almost certain to join Ferrari and McLaren as the leaders in 2007 and, if the champion does not emerge from one of those two teams, he will be driving a BMW. Here’s hoping that the team exceed Mario Theissen’s careful expectations and win many more than one GP this year.

11 Responses to “BMW Sauber and the Nordschliefe”

  1. It’s good to see the rise of BMW. It will enhance the action at the front. Now, if only one could light a fire under Williams, we’d have a gaggle of potential winners at the front, rather than a gaggle of cars with no chance to win, back in mid-field. And what’s it going to take for Toyota to get it together? Their lack of success in spite of gobs of money provides insight into just how tenuous an art/business it is to form a winning F1 team.

  2. I think Williams are on their way to the front right now, Barry. Now that they have a reliable engine (even if Toyota don’t seem to be able to get the best from it) they should make good progress this year and perhaps challenge the leaders in 2008.

    Toyota are an enigma – they should be one of the front runners but seem incapable of that final effort to get there. If Williams finish the season ahead of them, I think Toyota should buy them and let Williams do the racing for the company.

    BMW’s rise looks unstoppable – they just keep getting better and better.

  3. Yes BMW is damn impressive, you really can only tell good things about them. Now that’s a slap in the face to Toyota.

    The Ring… that’s going to be something. Does anyone knows if they’re using some simulation to learn the circuit? (The drivers I mean)… As far as I know, only GPL has a decent reproduction of the track…

  4. I don’t know whether they’re using simulations to help Nick learn the circuit, Haplo, but I suspect he may know it already. Other races apart from F1 are still held there and Nick may well have participated in them at some time in the past. In fact, if you go there, it’s possible to drive your own family saloon (or sports car if you’re lucky) around the circuit. Of course, driving an F1 car round it will be a completely different ballgame… :D

  5. I see… interesting, thanks.

  6. There was once an episode on BBC top gear about the old Nurburgring circuit and a lap around it. Here’s a sort of a sequel to that episode!

    and interestingly i also found a video of Alonso doing a lap in a Renault Megane!

  7. Totally brilliant, Uppili, especially the Alonso clip! Did you notice he was smiling all the way around? :D That is such a fantastic circuit.

    See how Fernando was struggling for grip in so many places, however – and then think of what it would be like in an F1 car…

  8. Yes, I’ve seen those videos before… and yes, Alphonso is smiling all the way ’round, he’s really having a blast there… We can only wait.

  9. Two days to go, Haplo. I hope BMW are going to put up a video of the event on their website.

  10. It’ll end up somehow on youtube, you can bet on that :)

  11. Hah, that’s true!

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