Mike Stevens | Jun 10, 2009

BMW MOTORSPORT BOSS Dr Mario Theissen has ruled out abandoning development on BMW Sauber's 2009 F1 challenger, despite struggling to remain in touch with this year’s F1 frontrunners.

After securing a debut victory in Canada last year, BMW Sauber seemed poised to make the leap into the F1 elite. Back then, Polish star Robert Kubica was leading the race for the driver’s championship after seven rounds before eventually fading away during the latter stages of the season.

However, BMW Sauber’s encouraging form heightened expectations heading into the 2009 season, prompting many pundits to tip Kubica as a potential rival to Briton Lewis Hamilton in his quest to secure consecutive World Championships.

While a promising performance in Melbourne seemingly justified the hype surrounding the Munich-based outfit, the team has since struggled, falling behind the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull.

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Dr Theissen though remains committed to the F1 09 car, refusing to abandon it at such an early stage in the season.

He told the official BMW Sauber website: “"I'm often asked these days if it wouldn't be better to simply stop working on the enhancement of the F1.09 and fully focus on our 2010 challenger instead.

"But this doesn't represent an option for us. We won't give up on the current season - far from it."

The introduction of the much-awaited double diffuser in Turkey provided the team with a substantial boost in performance, handing Kubica the opportunity to record his first points of the current campaign.

Encouraged by the progress displayed at Istanbul Park, Dr Theissen said his team will continue making amendments in a bid to again begin challenging for podiums.

"We have increased our development pace and will bring significant improvements for the car to every second or third race from now on. Improvements that will also compromise enhanced versions of the twin diffuser,” he said.

"At the end of the season we want to be able to say: We encountered a disappointing start to the season but we succeeded in turning things around and making it back to the front end of the field."

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