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Old 07-10-2008, 12:31 PM
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BMW Sauber F1 - German GP & Hybrid Technology Preview


18th – 20th July 2008 - 10th of 18 World Championship Races

Munich/Hinwil - The excitement is building at the BMW Sauber F1 Team ahead of its home GP at Hockenheim on 20th July. The team has conducted three days of testing at the circuit in the state of Baden-Württemberg in preparation for the race.

Formula One welcomes back the German Grand Prix following an absence of two years. 2008 also sees the return of Hockenheim to the calendar, after the Nürburgring hosted a round of the 2007 World Championship under the banner of the European Grand Prix. Five of the 20 drivers on the F1 grid hold a German passport, with Nick Heidfeld by far the most successful of the group.

Currently lying fifth in the Drivers’ Championship on 36 points, Heidfeld recorded his third second-place finish of the season at Silverstone last time out. The German is 10 points behind his team-mate Robert Kubica in the standings, the Pole – on 46 points – trailing the leaders by just two points. Going into round 10 of the 18-race season, Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) and the Ferrari pair of Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen are level at the top on 48 points. In the constructors’ standings, the BMW Sauber F1 Team remains in second place at the half-way point of the season.

The German Grand Prix programme will see the revival of the most spectacular single-make competition in motor racing history. The BMW M1 Procar series will be back at Hockenheim on Saturday and Sunday as a field of ten cars

Nick Heidfeld:
“I’m really looking forward to my home grand prix. Hockenheim is a very special race for the whole team, while a lot of Swiss fans have traditionally made the trip across the border to give their support. I personally have a lot of good memories of the Hockenheimring, especially the old circuit with its long straights through the forest. Those sections were really unmistakeable, but the new track is, of course, significantly safer and better for the spectators – and I appreciate it for those reasons. Plus, a good overtaking opportunity has been created in the Parabolika. I’ve driven at Hockenheim in Formula Ford, Formula 3, Formula 3000 and Formula One, and can’t wait for this grand prix.”

Robert Kubica:
“In 2006 I had the opportunity to drive at Hockenheim in free practice on Friday, but this will be my first Formula One grand prix there – although I did race at the circuit in F3. We weren’t there last year so I think it will be a very special weekend for our team and especially for BMW and all the BMW fans. We always try our best. It is the kind of track with different kinds of corners, although not really high-speed corners. The only one that is quite quick is when you enter the stadium, where there is always a special atmosphere. I know corner one is pretty quick but not really a long corner. There are some quite short corners with only one line you can take through them.”

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:
“This is the only F1 race being held in our home country in 2008 and naturally we’re very much looking forward to it. However, you can’t afford to let that disturb your concentration – after all, we don’t get any more points here just because its our home GP. The circuit has lost some of its allure since they cut out the straights through the forest, but the atmosphere should be fantastic after a year without Formula One. It is sure to be an extremely exciting race. Three drivers are tied at the top of the drivers’ standings, while Robert is only two points behind them. Nick is not far away either, and his strong performance at Silverstone has given him an extra boost. You could not have written a better script for our home GP.

“Hockenheim takes us into the second half of the season. The nine races so far have brought us 82 points and seven podiums, and we have scored points on every occasion. All of which means we are in second place in the Constructors’ Championship, 14 points behind Ferrari but 10 ahead of McLaren Mercedes. The highlight of our season so far has, of course, been the one-two in Montreal. Fastest race lap, pole position, race victory – in all the categories where there was a zero next to our team in the statistics not so long ago, there is now a 1. And that has, of course, given the team members in Munich and Hinwil even more confidence. Everybody in the team can see that we are on the right path.

“We set out to turn the two-horse race at the top of the standings into a three-way battle and to win our first race, and we have achieved this goal. Two teams are still a touch faster than us when you look at the lap times. However, as far as the reliability of our cars and the work of the pit crew and race strategists are concerned, we are already a top team. We will now make every effort to keep our chances alive this season, while not neglecting the development of the F1.09. That is a big challenge, especially given the radical rule changes due to come into force next year.”

Willy Rampf, Technical Director:
“Needless to say, Hockenheim is a very special race for us, and there is an extra buzz of anticipation within the team. The circuit is characterised by slow and medium-speed corners, where you need a lot of downforce. More than any other part of the track, the Motodrom is a key section when it comes to the lap time. However, you can’t afford to ignore top speed altogether, as the best overtaking spot is going into the hairpin after the long Parabolika, which is taken flat-out. Here, as well as a good top speed, the most important thing for the drivers is high braking stability and optimum traction on the exit from the corner.”

Facts and figures:
Circuit/Date: Hockenheim/20th July 2008
Start time (local/UTC): 14.00 hrs/12.00 hrs
Lap/Race distance: 4.574 km/308.863 km (67 laps)
Corners: 10 right-hand and 7 left-hand corners
Winner 2006 Michael Schumacher, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, 1 hr 27:51.693 min
Pole position 2006: Kimi Räikkönen, Team McLaren Mercedes, 1:14.070 min
Fastest lap 2006: Michael Schumacher, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, 1:16.357 min

Data 2006 (race):
Full-throttle percentage: 64 %
Top speed: 310 km/h
Longest stretch at full throttle: 14 sec / 1,030 m
Gear changes per lap: 46
Tyre wear: medium
Brake wear: medium to high
Downforce level: medium to high

Nick Heidfeld
Date of birth: 10.05.1977
Place of birth: Mönchengladbach/Germany
Nationality: German
Residence: Stäfa, Switzerland
Marital status: Partner Patricia Papen, daughter Juni, son Joda
Height: 1.67 m
Weight: 61 kg
F1 debut: 2000, Melbourne
GP starts: 143
Pole positions: 1
Wins: -
Podium places: 10
Fastest laps: 1
Best placing: 5th (2007)
Total points: 176
Points 2008: 36 (5th place)

Robert Kubica
Date of birth: 07.12.1984
Place of birth: Krakow/Poland
Nationality: Polish
Residence: Monaco
Marital status: Single
Height: 1.84 m
Weight: 69 kg
F1 debut: 2006, Budapest
GP starts: 31
Pole positions: 1
Wins: 1
Podium places: 5
Fastest laps: -
Best placing: 6th (2007)
Total points: 91
Points 2008: 46 (4th place)

BMW Sauber F1 Team
Founded: 01.01.2006
Locations: Munich (DE) and Hinwil (CH)
F1 debut: 2006, Melbourne
GP starts: 44
Pole positions: 1
Wins: 1
Podium places: 10 (4 x 3rd / 5 x 2nd / 1 x 1st)
Fastest laps: 1
Championship placings:
5th (2006), 36 points
2nd (2007), 101 points
2nd (2008), 82 points after 9 GPs

History and background:
Hockenheim has a population of over 20,000 and lies in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Hockenheim’s inaugural event, held on an as yet unsurfaced triangular track, was a motorcycle race which took place on 29th May 1932. In 1938 the circuit was modified to become the oval-shaped Kurpfalzring. 1957 saw further upgrading and the addition of the Motodrom. Hockenheim’s first Formula One GP was held on 2nd August 1970. In 1977 the German Grand Prix moved to Baden, only returning to the Nürburgring once – in 1985.

For its 70th anniversary in 2002, the race track displayed a new design and a new name: since then, the “Hockenheimring Baden Württemberg“ has managed without the famous long forest straights which offered no room for spectators. Where the course used to disappear into the woods, the field now takes a right turn into the full-throttle Parabolika section. This ends in a hairpin that is taken in first gear with the steering wheel almost at full lock. A generous asphalt run-off zone encourages overtaking manoeuvres. Following this hairpin, a right-left-right combination leads back into the Motodrom “stadium”.


KERS powers Formula One into a new dimension

Munich/Hinwil - Hybrid technology in Formula One has been given the go-ahead and the development process is underway. Powered by a modified drive concept, the top category of motorsport is poised to enter a new dimension in 2009 – and deliver significant impetus for the development of standard production vehicles in the process. From the start of next season, the Formula One regulations allow for the use of hybrid technology to increase the output and efficiency of the cars. To this end, the BMW Sauber F1 Team is working flat out on the development of its KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) brake energy regeneration system.

BMW Sauber F1 Team enhances the hybrid expertise of the BMW Group
As Dr Klaus Draeger, member of the BMW AG Board of Management responsible for development, reports: “The BMW Group can transfer the knowledge gained within the BMW Sauber F1 Team directly into the development of standard production vehicles. This makes Formula One the ideal pre-development platform for innovative drive technologies. The new Formula One regulations give us the opportunity to use innovative hybrid technology under extreme conditions and in so doing to garner crucial expertise for series development as well. BMW customers stand to benefit as a result. The KERS unit designed for the BMW Sauber F1.09 is a highly effective variant of brake energy regeneration technology, and is similar in the way it works to the ActiveHybrid technology developed for BMW standard production vehicles.”

BMW Sauber F1 Team develops electric KERS system
KERS enables the regeneration and storage of braking energy, which is then put on tap as an extra source of power under acceleration to complement the output of the V8 engine. The BMW Sauber F1 Team has decided to focus its efforts on an electric solution. The BMW Sauber F1.09 will be equipped with a hybrid system consisting of a combination of electric motor and generator, the requisite power electronics and an energy storage module.

The BMW Sauber F1.09 will store enough energy under braking to provide an additional 60 kW of output over around 6.5 seconds of acceleration. The complete system will weigh under 40 kg. This means that the power density of the F1 KERS technology will be considerably greater than that of the systems currently used in standard production vehicles. The newly acquired expertise will flow straight into production car development over the years to come.

For us KERS is an extremely exciting project and a great opportunity. We are standing at the threshold between a conventional package of engine and independent transmission and an integrated drive system,” explains BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen: “The power density of the KERS components will far exceed that of today’s hybrid vehicles. KERS will see Formula One take on a pioneering role for series production technologies going forward. F1 will give a baptism of fire to innovative concepts whose service life and reliability have not yet reached the level required for series production vehicles, and their development will be driven forward at full speed. At BMW we have always used the Formula One project as a technology laboratory for series production. With KERS this approach takes on a whole new dimension. Formula One will re-position itself and undergo a change of image, allowing the sport to take significant strides forward in terms of public acceptance.”

The BMW Group already includes a brake energy regeneration system in a large number of its series-produced models as part of its BMW EfficientDynamics package. It is also preparing to introduce BMW ActiveHybrid technology in various model series.
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