F1 2006 Championship

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Expectations were too high for the new Sauber BMW as it seemed already a constructor's championship competitor rather then a rookie team trying to adopt and find its place at F1 scenery. Eventhough it was -in fact- a brand new team, it combined a lot of racing experience than any other new entrant in the championship ever. Furthermore the introduction of new rules that reduced engine's power helped smaller teams to compete easier champions Renault, Ferrari and McLaren.

Driversof the team, Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld were well experienced after racing for almost 10 years in F1. Villeneuve's champion capabilities were merged with passion to voctory of Nick Heidfeld who he was driving the previous year for Williams BMW.

The Motor of BMW was so successful and victorious in the past powering from 2001 to 2005 the Williams' F1 team.

Team's Infrastructure was based on a historical team Sauber Grand Prix and all the team members from Peter Sauber who has been now an advisor of the new team to the team lowest crew member were in the sport for more than a decade and knew how to function together in harmony. In addition team's wind tunnel was so important for the factory simulation tests of car's aerodynamic components and never a new constructor could acquire and use one right form its foundation.

The Funding of the team was very strong. Apart from BMW carmaker giant, the Sauber BMW F1 team was sponsored by Petronas who was Sauber's previous sponsor, Credit Swiss and Intel. Villeneuve made his first statement about the new BMW car during team's first testing appearance at Valencia circuit.
"The BMW Sauber F1.06 felt really good,” said the former champion. “After the first day in a new car you can tell if it will be competitive or not; this one felt fast and I think there is more potential in it than in the C24 last year. That's very positive. Overall, I think these three days went well. Normally with a new car you expect quite a few problems, but this test went pretty well, so I'm happy."
Chassis technical director Willy Rampf was equally pleased with the team’s progress, commenting:
“After a total of 692 kilometres with the BMW Sauber F1.06 in three days we are happy with the results we achieved. The main focus during the roll-out was to check functionality and to concentrate on reliability issues. On the whole, we experienced very few minor technical problems, and this allows us for the forthcoming track tests to focus mainly on set-up work, the introduction of test components and the continuation of the Michelin tyre development programme.”

In the first race of the season at "Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix" Villeneuve was qualified back in 11th place and altohugh his strong run during the race in ninth place on the 30th lap his BMW Sauber scattered its engine without warning leaving flames throwing off his engine exhausts


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