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Hungary 2008

4th August 2008

A downward curve

I wonder, did you expect, after their maiden grand prix win at Montreal, BMW-Sauber to kick on and be a regular visitor to the sharp end of F1 grids and parcs fermé?

I did. And, since they haven’t managed it, why aren’t more questions being asked?

Not too long ago the team from Hinwil were the men on the move, irresistibly upwardly mobile. Their consistently impressive qualifying and race day performances culminated in a thumping win for Kubica in Canada.

Fast forward to now and the team’s performance appears to have dropped like a lead balloon, with poor Saturday and Sunday results now being the norm. Indeed, things have got so bad that team principal Mario Theissen, commenting on Sunday’s Hungarian race, said it was “a race we virtually weren’t involved in.”

So what’s gone wrong? Why is Kubica not fighting for pole and Heidfeld praying for rain on Sundays?

Now it’s a fact that teams copy one another’s ideas. And most of them employ at least one photographer to deliver pictures of their rivals’ technical innovations (which may or may not provide a performance advantage), with briefing sheets and wish lists delivered prior to and during the race weekends. High up on these lists, at least until Canada, were the rear wings of the BMW-Saubers – but not any more.

Now I may be way wide of the mark, but it’s an interesting coincidence that BMW’s performance has seemingly fallen off the edge of a cliff now that everyone else has had a good look at their aero.

All conjecture, I’m sure – but how prophetic Robert Kubica’s repeated insistence that a 2008 title push was out of the question now appears to have been.

Please now click on the ‘Formula 1’ link at the top of the page to enjoy my pictures from the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix.

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