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GP Week : Issue 48
BMW not giving up BMW Sauber Technical Director Willy Rampf has told GPWeek that his team has no intention on slowing down its rate of development or on giving up hope of catching the leading teams in 2009, following a disappointing start to their season. BMW Sauber had been the first F1 team to test 2009 parts on their cars and was the first team to launch its 2009 challenger. Despite this advantage, the team’s lack of pace in the races so far has led to the team re-evaluating its season and its car. “It was clear that you cannot compensate this gap by improving the so-called Melbourne car,”Rampf told GPWeek. “We had to start with a new aero concept to attach a lot of components on the bodywork and diffuser. Only by making bigger steps on the car could we make the big steps in lap time.” The team’s biggest update will come this weekend in Istanbul, where BMW Sauber will run its split level diffuser for the first time. And despite there being some talk in F1 circles of teams forgetting about 2009 to concentrate on 2010, Rampf insists that such a thought could not be further from BMW’s collective mind. “Currently we are not thinking about or discussing this scenario. OK, next year will be a different car because we have a higher amount of fuel, so a slightly different car concept, but since the aero regulations are not changing then things you learn this year you can use next year. “It’s not so easy to say that you will stop this project and concentrate again next year. There’s no guarantee that will work.” For the full interview with Willy Rampf, see ‘5 Minutes With …’ on page 22 10