Bmw Sauber to Strengthen Grip on Third Spot

By: Anthony Fontanelle

In the current Formula One season, Team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is dominating after five races with both drivers tied for the lead in the driver's championship while leading the constructor's championship. The closest team that rivals McLaren's dominance this season is Ferrari with driver Felipe Massa chalking up two wins already. These two teams are, without a doubt, the two best teams this season so far.

Behind the two racing giants, a pack of teams looking for Formula One supremacy is being led by BMW Sauber. The team is currently occupying the third spot in the constructor's championship. Team boss Mario Theissen is looking to increase their lead over the teams trying to take BMW Sauber's spot. Williams, Renault and Toyota are the foremost challengers to BMW Sauber's spot.

After the Monaco Grand Prix, BMW managed to give them more breathing room by building a 14-point lead over fourth pace Renault. During the said race, Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella finished fourth but BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld finished fifth and sixth respectively giving more points to the team.

As the next race of the season approaches, Theissen has made it clear that they are going to improve on their previous performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada. After the Canadian Grand Prix, the team will be tackling the United States Grand Prix.

"Last year, we crossed the Atlantic in fifth place in the standings. In 2007 we will be arriving in Canada as the third best team," says Theissen. "In 2006 we were only able to take two points away from the pair of races in North America. This is something we are naturally looking to improve on, and we are aiming to collect as many points as possible on the back of our good result in Monaco in order to further strengthen our position in the championship."

The team's drivers, Heidfeld and Kubica are both showing their driving prowess as the season goes. At the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, Heidfeld finished fourth while Kubica was forced to retire. On the second race, the Malaysian Grand Prix, Heidfeld once again took the fourth spot while Kubica finished 18th. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, the third race of the season, Heidfeld continued his string of fourth place finishes while Kubica got his first point of the season by finishing sixth.

At the Spanish Grand Prix, Heidfeld retired due to problems with his car's gearbox even if it is not made up of conventional BMW OEM parts but of components manufactured specifically for the demand of high speed racing. But while Heidfeld did not finish, Kubica took the fourth place again for BMW Sauber. And at the last race leading to the two races in North America, at the Monaco Grand Prix, the tandem finished with points given to each of them.

Looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix, BMW Sauber's Technical Director, Willy Rampf, is confident that they can build on their lead over Renault. "We were very competitive in Canada last year, and I am extremely confident that we will be able to come away with good results again this year," Rampf said.

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