: BMW Sauber F1 Team Confirms 2007 Driver Line-up

10-24-2006, 08:02 AM

Munich/Hinwil, 19th October 2006. The BMW Sauber F1 Team will be competing in the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship with German driver Nick Heidfeld (29) and Robert Kubica (21) of Poland. 19-year-old Sebastian Vettel has been promoted to regular test and reserve driver.

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen: "We are very pleased with our drivers and believe we have a good line-up for the future. Nick was already a firm fixture for 2007. He is the experienced driver in the team, both in terms of Formula One and from the point of view of his affiliation with the team. He has raced for Sauber and in 2007 will be contesting his third season for BMW. Robert, before he was signed as a test driver less than a year ago, was an unknown quantity. From the outset he made an outstanding impression on his test drives and in the Friday practice sessions. The reward was the switch to a racing cockpit in Budapest, a move that was vindicated when, in only his third grand prix, he made it onto the podium. Following these accomplishments, we have confirmed his position as a team driver for 2007.

After Robert's promotion, an even younger driver was tapping at the door: 19-year-old Sebastian. He has accumulated major successes in the junior racing arena but hasn't yet clocked up many kilometres in a Formula One car. Even so, he immediately picked up from Robert's achievements in Friday's practice sessions, both in lap times and set-up work. This debut was reason enough for us to confirm him as our test driver."

"For me to be confirmed as a driver for the team in 2007 proves that in the last five races I have done the job expected of me," says Robert Kubica. "Although we still have the season's final race to go, I feel I can start my 2007 season now. It is a good feeling when you know exactly what your racing plans will be and I think any driver who can approach the next season before the current one is finished can really be properly prepared. The experience I have gained this year as a Friday driver up to the Hungarian Grand Prix also means that I shall know the tracks from this year we will be racing on and, therefore, have some valuable data for the start of each grand prix weekend. The BMW Sauber F1 Team has given me a great opportunity and I want to thank Mario Theissen and the team for this."

"I'm over the moon," declared Sebastian Vettel. "This is a tremendous step in the right direction. I have always dreamed of sitting in the cockpit of such a fast car on a regular basis. The task that awaits me is clear: I will do everything to help the team as a test driver and to push developments forward. I would like to thank the whole team for the trust they have placed in me, and also for giving me the opportunity earlier this season of being regularly involved as the Friday driver. It has paid off."