Hinwil, Friday: BMW Sauber boss Mario Theissen has today announced his team’s plans to switch their development focus to the 2015 season, following a disappointing start to 2009.
Rationalising the decision, Theissen went over BMW’s ambitious system of “target-setting” for each year of competition. “In 2006 we wanted to score points. We did that. In 2007 we wanted to finish on the podium. We did that. In 2008 we wanted to win our first race. We did that.
“For 2009 we have also achieved our target, which was to finish last and last-but-one in a race.”
“No it wasn’t,” one reporter volunteered, before being forcibly removed by burly Swiss security guards and never seen or heard from again.
BMW are obviously taking a lesson from Brawn GP, who as Honda diverted most of their resources to developing their 2009 car early in 2008 when they realised they were going to be uncompetitive. Theissen, however, has obviously decided that spending five-and-a-half years developing their 2015 car will pay massive dividends when that season comes.
Sceptics have expressed doubts about BMW’s plans, given that the 2015 technical regulations are not due to be finalised until June 2014, more than five years away, but Theissen believes that this will not be a problem. “We will design the car as best we can, then incorporate new elements into the design when they are introduced into the rule book. It’s a flawless plan.”
Top BMW driver Robert Kubica has already expressed frustration with the plans, and was seen knocking on the door of the Ferrari motorhome in Barcelona yesterday.
Similar strategies have previously been pursued elsewhere in motorsport, with David Richards spending nearly two years gathering support and funding for his Prodrive team, due to launch in 2008, before realising a few months before the season started that he had forgotten to build a car.