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F1 win forces BMW Sauber to revise targets

BMW Sauber Formula One driver Robert Kubica of Poland celebrates his win at the Canadian F1 Grand Prix in Montreal, Canada on Sunday.

BMW Sauber Formula One driver Robert Kubica of Poland celebrates his win at the Canadian F1 Grand Prix in Montreal, Canada on Sunday.

BMW Sauber have confirmed the Formula One championship as a genuine three-way battle with a Canadian Grand Prix win that surpassed their target for the season.
After 24 races in a row won by Ferrari or McLaren, the Swiss-based team seized their chance in Montreal on Sunday with a one-two finish that showed they were more than just the best of the rest.
Back in January team boss Mario Theissen had set out the target - a first win for the team bought by the Munich manufacturer three years ago before a full title tilt in 2009.
The first target has been met and they could be well ahead of schedule on the second if their current consistency holds up.
Ferrari are now only three points ahead of them in the constructors' standings while McLaren are 17 behind and the halfway point of the season fast approaching.
Poland's Robert Kubica meanwhile leads McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa by four points in the driver standings.
"After the pit stop we had a feeling we'd be able to do it. ....it's really special," said Theissen after Kubica led German team mate Nick Heidfeld to the top of the podium.
"We were determined to win this race. But getting first and second wasn't planned."
It may be that BMW struggle to repeat such success this season but Sunday's was no freak result despite Hamilton putting himself and Ferrari's world champion Kimi Raikkonen out of the race with a pit-lane collision.
The team had led the constructors' championship after Bahrain in April while Kubica started that race on pole position and had two second places and a third in the six races prior to Montreal.
He could have been on pole position on Sunday as well had Hamilton not pulled out a stupendous final lap in qualifying.
"Maybe the pace is still not the best but at this race we were right there," said 23-year-old Kubica.
The last time a team celebrated their first win with a one-two was Jordan in the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix when Britain's Damon Hill led Ralf Schumacher to victory.
Jordan finished third overall in the championship the following year in a high point before the slide down the table and into their eventual disappearance.
BMW Sauber boast far greater resources than independent Jordan ever did while their parent company has a winning pedigree as former engine providers to the likes of Brabham and Williams.
The last time three different teams won races in a single season was 2006, but Honda were never in contention for the championship when Jenson Button collected something of a freak Hungarian Grand Prix victory.
You have to go back to 2003 for the last real three-way constructors' battle between Ferrari, BMW-powered Williams and McLaren.
"The target this season was to win a race. We did it earlier than expected, I think," said Kubica.
"We did it in a difficult race with not the best pace in the field, I would say. Clearly Hamilton was the quickest driver here this weekend, but he made a mistake. You pay for your mistakes and we did a good race.
"What it will be in the future we don't know and we have to work, we have to fight, to push.
"I don't think we'll be lacking motivation now after such a great result and everybody's already pushing very hard in Munich and Hinwil, so we just have to find a few tenths and maybe we can fight with proper pace in a normal race for the victory as well," added the Pole.


Updated : 2021-02-27 12:18 GMT+08:00