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Well, in our February preview we said this F1 season could prove to be the closest for many years and with the first 3 fly away races in the bag and just a couple of weeks before the stat of the European season we have 3 drivers sharing the No1 spot , one of them, remarkably, the young Lewis Hamilton.

Already in the record books, Lewis Hamilton has scored podiums in his first 3 races embarrassing some more established drivers by vying for pole on all 3 occasions. Surely, it can’t be long before he takes the top spot for the first time.

Has team mate Alonso resented Lewis’s successes, no apparently not they seem good friends and supportive but all does not seem so harmonious chez Ferrari where Kimi seems less happy about the 2007 and even less about Massa’s sudden new turn of speed.

All 3 races, Melbourne, Malaysia and Bahrein, have been competitive with lots of duelling especially in the midfield and it has become clear that Renault is not quite yet on the pace this season whereas the main protagonists, McLaren and Ferrari are pretty evenly matched with Alonso, Kimi and Massa all taking wins and podiums so far.

The aerodynamics changes do seem to have allowed for more overtaking with more slipstreaming than we have seen in recent years with lots of late braking into medium corners especially.

The other major change to just 1 tyre - Bridgestone – has proved more traumatic for some teams than others, some teams seem to have adapted to the new tyres and the new strategies afforded by the need to use two grades of tyre in each race, others are still well off the pace.

The Williams effort seems to have been rather muted both drivers driving their socks off but the car not yet quite there and the much vaunted Newey Red Bull has been a great disappointment to all so far. Even More depressing has been the awful season start by Honda, unreliable, slow and Button hanging grimly onto the corporate line that it will get better. 

On the rise has been the BMW challenge – see separate interview with Mario Theissen  - with Heidfeld having a great start to the season 5th in the championship.

So with the European season should come more car development packages and the battles will get even closer. Looks like were in for a classic season.

 


BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen says "We have established ourselves firmly as the third-strongest team on the grid."

The BMW Sauber F1 Team has made a successful start to the 2007 World Championship. Nick Heidfeld has recorded three fourth places and Robert Kubica a sixth-position finish to put the team on 18 points and leave them lying third in the constructors' standings. BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen looks back on the season so far.

How would you rate the team's progress after three races?

Theissen: "For this season we set ourselves the goal of halving our gap to the leading cars once again, having made a similar improvement last year. We have hit this target in the first three races of the season, and in Bahrain we narrowed the margin even further. We have established ourselves firmly as the third-strongest team on the grid, exceeding our expectations. I'm particularly pleased that the gap to the teams in front is smaller than our advantage over the cars behind. We've made it into Q3 with something to spare at each GP, and the 18 World Championship points we've collected in the three races is already equal to half our total for the whole of 2006. So, all in all things are looking very positive at this point."

Do you think the team will soon be celebrating its maiden victory?

Theissen: "We made an excellent start to the season, but we need to remain realistic. As things stand, there is still a gap between us and Ferrari and McLaren. Nick's overtaking move on Fernando Alonso in a straight fight during the Bahrain GP was a great moment, and it has surprised us slightly as well that we've been able to put the favourites under this kind of pressure so soon. Needless to say, we will not be resting on our laurels, but it is important to take one step at a time. Our primary aim is to secure some podium finishes, but winning our first race is next on the list."


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