Heidfeld prepared for setback in 2008

Tue, 25 September 2007, 12:38

After smooth sailing for BMW-Sauber in its first two seasons, team driver Nick Heidfeld says he is prepared for a setback in 2008 or beyond.

With the exclusion of McLaren for espionage, the Swiss based outfit is now all but guaranteed second place in the constructors’ world championship this year.

The feat represents the remarkable progress BMW, now widely recognised as the third force in formula one behind Ferrari and McLaren, has made since switching from Williams and taking over Sauber ahead of the 2006 season.

But 30-year-old Heidfeld, the highest placed BMW-Sauber driver in the 2007 drivers’ standings, said: “I am sure that we are not just going to keep on rolling forwards endlessly. I am not afraid of that though.

“It is simply normal (in F1) that sometimes you have to deal with setbacks,” he told the German news agency dpa.

“The crucial thing is how you get through it.”

BMW’s performances this year have been all the more notable because a new team often makes good progress on debut and then falters in its second season.

Equally, it is generally agreed that the most difficult step of all is the final one towards victory and title contention.

Team boss Mario Theissen agrees: “It is true that good results can raise expectations more quickly than one can bring in additional successes.

“We are already feeling that; if we finish fourth or sixth, then it can be classified as only an average result. But we are in formula one to win.”

Heidfeld, meanwhile, admits that the last few grands prix of 2007 will give him less of a buzz, because BMW-Sauber now is somewhat “alone” in the pecking order.

“Those in front are too far away,” he said, “and the same is true of those behind.”

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