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BMW retain drivers for 2009 // Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld continue partnership next season

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

Last week we heard that Williams would be sticking with their lineup of Rosberg and Nakajima, and today BMW have announced they have the same idea. Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld are both signed up for 2009, which means Heidfeld has managed to impress his bosses.

A few weeks ago, the German was given the hurry up and told to improve his performance out on track, or else his contract would be under review. The last few races have seen Heidfeld get much better in the car, and the results have been forthcoming. BMW have decided that the pairing of Heidfeld and Kubica is a strong one, and will see them at their competitive best next season.

Christian Klien remains as test driver, also, and boss Mario Theissen believes that the three drivers will help the team achieve their targets for 2009. This year, their objective was to win a race, which they did so in Canada with Robert Kubica on the top step of the podium. The Pole didn’t want BMW to be content with that target, and wanted them to keep pushing towards the championship, but it looks as though his desires were left wanting. BMW are currently third in the constructors championship with Ferrari and McLaren ahead of them by a vast margin. In the driver’s championship, Kubica has managed to jump Räikkönen, and although he is currently still mathematically able to take the title, it seems very unlikely he will be able to overhaul the gap to the two leaders.

This driver lineup decision closes yet another door for Fernando Alonso, as BMW was one of the teams rumoured to be interested in the former champion. Alonso’s only remaining options are now to remain at Renault, or join current back markers Honda. With Ross Brawn on board, Honda may seem like an attractive offer if the price is right, and the team is on the way back up. I believe Alonso will remain at Renault, though, as he is comfortable in the team, and they have begun to look even more competitive in the last few races.

Alonso must surely believe he can bring the team back to championship winning form. It doesn’t look as though Piquet will remain with him, but as yet there has been no Renault announcement.