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Old 10-23-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
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*** Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ***

While the racing isn't going to be that exciting with the constructor and world championship locked up I'm excited about a new track. The Build it Bigger episode about the hotel the track does through was really cool!

I'll post the BMW Sauber press releases in this thread. Last time we will here that name in F1

BMW Sauber F1 Team - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Preview
30th October – 1st November 2009
17th and final World Championship race

Munich/Hinwil - The 17th and final race of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship will take place on 1st November with the maiden grand prix at the new Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The whole of the Formula One community is looking forward to sampling the new venue on the calendar, as anticipation builds ahead of the debut of Formula One at the track. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will also be the first time the drivers will have started a race in daylight and finished it after dark.

While the destiny of the drivers’ and constructors’ titles has now been decided, further back in the field much can change. The BMW Sauber F1 Team moved up to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship through Robert Kubica’s second place in Brazil, and can still snatch sixth position from Williams – the British team is currently 2.5 points ahead in the standings – with the right result in Abu Dhabi.

The final race weekend of 2009 will also bring the curtain down on the BMW Sauber F1 Team’s involvement in Formula One. On 29th July BMW announced that it would be pulling out of Formula One at the end of the season, although the Swiss arm of the team under Peter Sauber is still hoping to line up on the grid in 2010.

Robert Kubica:
“I have not been to the Abu Dhabi circuit so far. As we do not have a simulator I only know the track from the Internet and from a couple of presentations. The track looks very interesting. The facilities and the buildings around the circuit especially seem to be outstanding. However, before having done the first laps on the track with a Formula One car, it is really difficult to judge the circuit itself. But of course I know this situation from the past. In 2008 both Valencia and Singapore were new on the calendar. Fortunately I consider myself a driver who does not need a lot of track time to be on a good pace straight away. I guess that a lot of cars will be out on the track on Friday in order to understand the track and to learn as much as possible. I am really looking forward to going there. It will be my last race for this team, but I hope very much to see them on the grid again next year.”

Nick Heidfeld:
“I’m very pleased to be getting another taste of summer and will be flying out to Abu Dhabi a few days early with my family. I’m really excited about the new circuit. Everyone who’s been there already has described it as an incredible place. I think it’s always great to discover a new track. I haven’t found the lack of a simulator to be a disadvantage at other new circuits, and this way it’s even more exciting when you drive out of the garage for the first time.

“This will be a very special race for all of us in the team. So far I haven’t really had that feeling of saying goodbye. But that will change in Abu Dhabi for sure, and will probably be quite intense. I very much hope that the team is given a place on the grid for 2010 soon.”

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:
“We will travel to Abu Dhabi with mixed feelings. The eight points we collected in Brazil have allowed us to move up a place in the Constructors’ Championship, and we will be highly motivated once again at the final race of the season. We are looking forward to racing at the new Formula One venue and can’t wait to experience the atmosphere at the marina circuit.

“However, there will of course also be a fair amount of sadness within the team as we set off for Abu Dhabi. After all, this will be our 70th and final race with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

“With the exception of our fourth and unfortunately final season, I’m more than satisfied with what we have achieved since 2006. In the first three years after the team was founded, we met – and even exceeded – all the aims we set ourselves. We recorded two podium finishes in our first season on the grid, and in our second season we established ourselves as the third-strongest team in the championship. This was the year in which Robert suffered his horrific crash in Montreal. It felt like an eternity until we finally heard the good news that he was ok. The relief meant we were able to celebrate Nick’s second place in suitable style. It was in Montreal a year later that we enjoyed our greatest success. From the moment that Robert and Nick crossed the finish line in quick succession to record a 1-2 result, there was no stopping us. We remained part of a three-way battle for the title almost until the end of the season. We notched up 11 podium finishes in total in 2008 and our reliability was excellent.

“Of course, the whole team is disappointed that we have been unable to build on this success in 2009, as we had hoped to have a say in the title race. But we have never thrown in the towel, even after BMW announced its withdrawal from Formula One, which shows the strong character of our team. I hope that the successor to the BMW Sauber F1 Team will continue along this successful path in Formula One.”

Willy Rampf, Head of Engineering:
“I always find it exciting to compete at a new venue. The circuit in Abu Dhabi has a whole series of predominantly slow and medium-speed corners, but also two very long straights. Since the track is also very wide, we can probably look forward to a lot of overtaking moves.

“Of course, we have carried out the usual simulations, but one significant unknown is how the tyres will respond on the new asphalt. We will only discover the answer to this question during the course of the weekend. The ambient temperatures are sure to play a major role. Although the race is not scheduled to start until 5.00 pm, we can still expect the outside air temperature to be well over 30 degrees Celsius.

“Brazil was the first race in which we’ve been able to fully exploit the potential of the car since the extensive package of modifications were introduced in Singapore, and we’re also expecting to have a strong race in Abu Dhabi. We’ll be pulling out all the stops to finish the season on a positive note.”

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and the largest of the seven Emirates. Local etiquette dictates that public displays of affection between adults are not permitted – holding hands is even punishable by law for married couples and can result in imprisonment. Licenses for the sale of alcohol are only granted to hotel restaurants and drunkenness is punished. On Friday, the holy day, shops have restricted opening times. When it comes to tips, taxi drivers will expect customers to round up the fare, while ten percent is normal for waiters.

The Yas Marina Circuit on the man-made Yas Island sets out to overshadow everything that has gone before. The facility spans over 160 hectares in total, with the paddock – which backs onto the harbor – occupying 40,000 square meters.

The circuit can claim to be the only venue on the calendar where all the grandstands are covered, and 50,000 spectators can enjoy the race from the shade. The 60-metre-tall Sun Tower, which is powered by solar energy, is reserved for guests of honour. The facility also encompasses a driving school, a drag racing centre, a karting centre, a business park and a five-star hotel with 500 rooms. The press centre is designed to accommodate 600 journalists and photographers.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:17 PM   #2
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It's really a sad end for a fairly successful program.

At least i got to witness in person BMW's only win as a constructor in F1.

I'm not sure if it's because I am half Italian, think Alonso is the best, or have spent a bit of time in Maranello, but starting Monday I will consider myself a Tifosi . . .unless I become a Lotus supporter.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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BMW Sauber F1 Team - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Free Practice
Weather: dry, 30-37°C Air, 31-50°C Track

Abu Dhabi (UAE). BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Nick Heidfeld was able to complete the normal Friday programme with tyre evaluation and set-up work on the spectacular new YAS Marina Circuit. However, his team mate Robert Kubica didn’t have the opportunity to drive in the dark under floodlights as, due to an engine failure, he retired just before sunset in the second free practice session.

Despite the engine failures earlier this season, the team decided not to go for a ninth power unit to avoid the consequent grid penalty. As a result Kubica had to run on the season’s last Friday an engine with a mileage way over 2000 kilometres. The team were aware of the risk.

At noon the BMW Sauber F1 Team lined up for its farewell team picture with the pit board message “Thank you & Goodbye“. Kubica is driving in Abu Dhabi with a special helmet which carries the message “Many Thanks to BMW Sauber F1 Team.”

Nick Heidfeld
BMW Sauber F1.09-07 / BMW P86/9
1st Free Practice: 5th, 1:44.667 min / 2nd Free Practice: 13th, 1:42.278 min

“The track offers everything you can ask for. The tarmac is good and the lay-out is quite good with the first sector having the fast corners, the second sector providing this endless straight and a possibility for overtaking, and the third one being rather narrow and windy, but flowing nicely.

I’m not happy with the car’s set-up and balance yet. This is especially for a single quick lap as on the long runs the lap times were improving. The visibility during sunset and twilight wasn’t an issue today. I hope this doesn’t change if we get more dust in the air. In respect of the total darkness and floodlighting, I have the feeling it was brighter in Singapore.”

Robert Kubica
BMW Sauber F1.09-08 / BMW P86/9
1st Free Practice: 11th, 1:44.988 min / 2nd Free Practice: 20th, 1:43.708 min

“The track is quite interesting, although there are not a lot of high speed corners and most are quite short. The final sector of the track reminds me of Singapore.

We were just starting to work on the set-up and the tyre evaluation in the second free practice session when I had an engine failure. Now the track conditions are improving with each lap, this is a big loss and I lost nearly one hour of valuable track time.”

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering)
“At the beginning of the first free practice we realized we had been quite accurate with what we expected from the track based on our simulations. However, it’s not easy to assess our own performance after day one. We have worked on race preparation, as usual. Obviously, the engine failure on Robert’s car cost us time working on the set-up. However, I believe we have enough data available to draw the right conclusions for the remainder of the weekend.”
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:23 AM   #4
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it was on speed yesterday that track looks amazing i cant wait to go back to dubai .wish i was there during this race

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Old 11-03-2009, 04:26 PM   #5
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Sorry for the slow updates, busy weekend and I had not yet watched the race. Good race, some nights fights. Sad that the season is over

************** SPOILERS **************

BMW Sauber F1 Team - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying
Weather: dry, 33°C Air, 46°C Track

Abu Dhabi (UAE). For the third time this season the BMW Sauber F1 Team progressed on its own merit with both cars into the top ten session for the grid. Robert Kubica qualified seventh for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Nick Heidfeld was eighth. Therefore the team, with at least one car, has taken part in the top ten qualifying session in ten out of this season’s 17.

Robert Kubica
BMW Sauber F1.09-08 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 7th, 1:41.992 min in Q3 (3rd Free Practice: 8th, 1:41.322 min)

“Unfortunately I missed yesterday’s second free practice session. As a result I had no experience of the track conditions at this time of day. The conditions were completely different compared to the third free practice session. The lower temperatures had quite a big effect on the car’s balance. In the end qualifying in seventh is quite ok and I am optimistic that we can fight for points tomorrow.”

Nick Heidfeld
BMW Sauber F1.09-07 / BMW P86/9
Qualifying 8th, 1:42.343 min in Q3 (3rd Free Practice: 5th, 1:41.241min)

“I think my eighth position is alright. On the last lap there was a small chance to improve, but I had traffic with Mark Webber in front of me, and anyway there is no guarantee this lap would have been faster. If I take the fuel load into account, I’m happy with my grid position although I only really know the fuel load for our cars. The tyres seem to last here remarkably well, which means it could pay off if you stay out for longer. The light from the setting sun was a bit brighter than yesterday, but the circuit is built in such a way that you have to deal with it in only one corner, which anyway is flat. For our last race tomorrow I hope for all of us we can achieve a good result with points for both cars.”

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director)
“The outcome of qualifying is more or less what we expected. It was good to see both our cars made it quite safely into the top ten. In the final part of qualifying the field was very close together again. However we ended seventh and eighth. Now it will be important to see when the first pit stops will take place. Technically today everything went without any problems.”

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering)
“For our team it was a qualifying without any special excitement. Our result reflects quite accurately where we stand with our performance. As early as Q1 it was clear we had a very good chance to make it into Q3, and that finally happened. With the fuel load our drivers have on board we should be able to score a good result in the last race for the BMW Sauber F1 Team.”
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:33 PM   #6
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************** SPOILERS **************

BMW Sauber F1 Team - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Race
Weather: dry, 30-31°C Air, 31-34°C Track

Abu Dhabi (UAE). Happy end to the last race for the BMW Sauber F1 Team: After a great race, Nick Heidfeld finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in fifth. With these four points the team was able to move up one place in the constructors’ championship and overtake Williams to finish sixth. Robert Kubica was also on the way to score a championship point before he spun in a battle with Sébastien Buemi.

As a thank you for Nick Heidfeld’s seven years of great commitment to the team in Hinwil Peter Sauber is giving him a Formula One car from this era. The 2009 season's finale also marks the last Formula One race for BMW after the company's decision at the end of July to pull out of this sport. In the team’s four year history the BMW Sauber F1 Team collected 308 world championship points, one pole position and 17 podiums, including one win. (The following pages outline a timeline of the team's achievements.)

Nick Heidfeld: 5th
BMW Sauber F1.09-07 / BMW P86/9
Fastest lap: 1:40.672 min on lap 54 (7th fastest overall)

“I am very happy with my fifth place. It was a good race in which I was able to get the maximum out of the car and score four points, which was enough to reach our target for the end of the season to overtake Williams in the constructors’ championship. After I have been a little unlucky in recent races, this time I was really able to exploit the car’s potential. For quite a long period I was able to go at the same speed as the world champion’s car, the Brawn. The strategy to go for a rather long stint paid off and the track was even more fun when it had more rubber on it. It is a pleasing end to our last season together. It now becomes very emotional. During the last laps I had to pull myself together in order to keep my concentration.”

Robert Kubica: 10th
BMW Sauber F1.09-08 / BMW P86/9
Fastest lap: 1:40.924 min on lap 54 (14th fastest overall)

“I lost the race in the second stint when I was very slow, while in the first stint I was able to go at quite a good pace, similar to Rubens. The car was working very well. After changing tyres I had no grip at all. The track was getting quicker and I just could not go at the pace of the other drivers. This was very strange. My fight with Sébastien Buemi was quite tough and a bit dangerous. We nearly touched when braking into the chicane. He first moved to the left and blocked the inside of the left hander. When I moved to the right he pushed me over the high inside kerb of the right hander section of the chicane and I spun. He did not leave any space at all. Thanks a lot to the team for the last four years. I hope to meet them back on the grid next year.”

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director)
“That was once again a strong weekend for our team in the season´s finale. Starting from eighth Nick consistently moved up to fifth thanks to a very good performance. Robert was unlucky three times during the race: After each pit stop he came back on the track behind a slower car, and due to the collision with Buemi he lost one position. But the most important point is that with today´s result we gained another place in the constructors’ championship. So we ended a very tough season with some strong results. A big thank you goes to the whole team - both here at the track as well as in Munich and Hinwil.”

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering)
“Our goal today was to score three points more than Williams and overtake them in the constructors’ championship. This goal was achieved thanks to Nick’s great drive and his fifth place. The race was very interesting from a strategic point of view because a one stopper was exactly as quick as two. Therefore the decisive part was at the second pit stop where it was decided who was in front of who. The race was so close today, so it was an absolute must not to make any mistake at all. I want to express my respect for the team in Munich and Hinwil who never lost motivation and continued to push very hard. They all did a fantastic job and deserve this result.”

BMW says thank you –

to its partners for their backing,
to the fans for their enthusiastic support,
to its rivals for their respect,
to the drivers for their sheer focus,
to the team for its collective achievement,
and to the media for their fairness.


16th/17th January 2006: The BMW Sauber F1 Team presents itself to the public in Valencia. The BMW Sauber F1.06 has its first track outing. The team drivers are Nick Heidfeld (DE) and Jacques Villeneuve (CA), the test and reserve driver is Robert Kubica (PL).

12th March 2006: The BMW Sauber F1 Team lines up in Bahrain for its first GP.

19th March 2006: The team wins its first World Championship points in the second race of the season when Villeneuve finishes seventh in Malaysia.

2nd April 2006: The third GP sees both drivers finish in the points for the first time. In Australia Heidfeld is fourth, Villeneuve sixth.

6th August 2006: Heidfeld takes the first podium place in the team’s 13th World Championship race. Kubica runs his first Formula One race in Budapest.

25th August 2006: Sebastian Vettel (DE/19) is made Friday driver in the third F1.06 with immediate effect.

October 2006: The wind tunnel in Hinwil runs on three shifts. A year previously it had been on one daily shift.

22nd October 2006: The BMW Sauber F1 Team ends its debut year in fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship (36 points).

16th January 2007: Presentation of the BMW Sauber F1.07 in Valencia. Heidfeld and Kubica continue as team drivers, Vettel remains reserve driver, Timo Glock (DE) is taken on as second test driver.

10th June 2007: In Canada Heidfeld earns the team’s first second-placed finish. Kubica survives a serious accident virtually unhurt.

17th June 2007: Vettel stands in for Kubica in Indianapolis and gains his first World Championship point.

21st October 2007: The BMW Sauber F1 Team concludes its second season with 101 points as the third-strongest team. Officially it is in second place (after disqualification of McLaren Mercedes).

End of 2007: The extension at Hinwil is ready for occupation and accommodates a workforce boosted by 150.

14th January 2008: The BMW Sauber F1.08 is unveiled at BMW Welt in Munich. Kubica and Heidfeld continue as the team drivers.

2nd February 2008: Christian Klien (AT) and Marko Asmer (EE) are announced as reserve driver and second test driver respectively.

23rd March 2008: Heidfeld records the team’s first fastest race lap in Malaysia.

5th April 2008: Kubica wins the BMW Sauber F1 Team’s first pole position in Bahrain.

6th April 2008: After the Bahrain Grand Prix – the third race of the season – the team leads the World Championship for the first time.

8th June 2008: Kubica crosses the line ahead of Heidfeld in Montreal to claim the first win for the BMW Sauber F1 Team in their 42nd GP. The Polish driver now leads the Drivers’ Championship.

2nd November 2008: After a mixed second half of the season, the team has 136 points and 11 podiums to place it third in the World Championship. The drivers conclude the season in 4th (Kubica) and 6th (Heidfeld) position.

20th January 2009: The F1.09 is unveiled in Valencia. Kubica, Heidfeld and Klien are on board once again. The economic recession makes for generally low-key presentations.

29th July 2009: The BMW Group announces its withdrawal from F1 at the end of the season. The freed-up resources are to flow into the development of new drive technologies and projects promoting sustainability.

15th September 2009: BMW AG announces the sale of the team to Qadbak Investments Ltd.

1st November 2009: The BMW Sauber F1 Team contests its 70th and final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.

* The best results for the Sauber Team as a solo venture (1993-2005) were six third places.
* With Brabham, BMW took eight wins in the period 1982 to 1985. The final victory with the legendary turbo engine was in 1986 with Benetton. During the Williams era (2000 to 2005) the total was ten wins.
* In 1983 Nelson Piquet (Brabham BMW) won the Drivers’ Championship. Prior to the BMW Sauber F1 Team era, BMW had totalled 19 Grand Prix wins and 33 pole positions.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:36 PM   #7
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BMW will be back. 2018 or so.

Sad to see them go
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:51 PM   #8
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At least BMW is staying in WTCC...as of today, 2 pts behind SEAT. Macau GP should be interesting.

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Old 11-05-2009, 12:25 PM   #9
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when i herd about this wen the news came out a part of me died
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