BMW Sauber target first win in 2008

Updated: 2007-11-21 11:03

LONDON - BMW Sauber aim to win a grand prix for the first time next year after finishing as runners-up in this season's Formula One championship, team boss Mario Theissen said on Tuesday.

"The end of this season has seen us wrapping up the development phase of the BMW Sauber F1 team," he said in a review of the year.

"This phase has run according to plan and has seen us make it into the top three in a short space of time. Next year we will be looking to record our first win.

"The great progress we have made this year, in particular, has shown that we have got the direction of our development work and our working processes spot on," he added.

Theissen said BMW now had 420 employees at the team's Hinwil factory from 275 when they took a majority stake in the Swiss-based team in 2005. The workforce in Munich remained unchanged at just under 300.

BMW switched their full focus to the 2008 car in mid-September when it became clear they would finish second overall.

The team, who finished 50 points ahead of Renault and 103 adrift of champions Ferrari, would have been third overall had McLaren not been stripped of all their constructors' points for a spying controversy.

"We set ourselves the goal of fourth place and a much bigger points total this year, so third was a great bonus," said Theissen.

"The powers that be then promoted us further, but it is a pretty empty second place in our eyes. We are well aware that four cars have been faster than us and we want to beat them on the track, not in the corridors of power."

He said the high point of the team's season was the Canadian Grand Prix, with Germany's Nick Heidfeld finishing second and Polish driver Robert Kubica emerging unscathed from an horrendous crash.

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