BMW-Sauber: Mixed opinion on their threat to the top two

It appears that there is little agreement in the paddock as to BMW-Sauber s form. On the one side, Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen expects BMW-Sauber to continue their strong form, winning races and ensuring that this season s championship battles will be long and tough. On the other side, McLaren boss Ron Dennis does not believe BMW will be able to keep up their strong form, and he is not worried about the future. However, he does agree that it will be a long battle for the championship.

“The BMWs were very close,” Raikkonen explained. “I managed to pass Kubica when he had some trouble this was an important moment because his race rhythm was very good.

“In the end I already said that in this season it will be very hard to gain every single place. It will be a very long and tough championship. I wouldn’t be surprised if BMW won some races this year. There will be Grands Prix where we will be stronger and others where they will have an advantage – the same is true for McLaren, who remain very competitive.

“I want to win races and fight for the title – coming in second left me a bit disappointed. Sometimes, certain weekends are just like that and the one in Bahrain was one of them. For one reason or another, the Sakhir circuit does not seem to be very favourable to me, but there is still some satisfaction at the end of this Grand Prix I am leading the drivers’ championship. When we think about how many points we gained in Melbourne this is a great result.”

After last weekend s Grand Prix in Bahrain, Ron Dennis was asked whether he saw BMW-Sauber as a consistent threat. “No,” he replied. “I think that we respect all competitors and they’re doing a better job than they’ve done at any other time in their involvement in F1.

“But it is when we get to Europe that the R&D and speed of manufacture starts to make a difference. We will be very strong and I’m not at all unduly worried about the future. It will be a fight right through the season.”