Mar.6 (GMM) Exactly a week before he strolls into the Albert Park paddock, Nick Heidfeld has declared that BMW Sauber's 2008 car is no longer suffering from some of the problems that blighted its pre-season preparations.
Shortly after the F1.08 single seater made its winter debut, the 30-year-old German expressed disappointment that his target of winning his and the team's first grand prix this year did not appear to be on track.With several thousand kilometres now on the car's odometer, however, Heidfeld told Sport Bild that Ferrari and McLaren are no longer far away."Since the rollout in January, we have steadily caught up," he said. "In other words, the large lap time gap to the front is no longer there."In fact, Heidfeld estimates the current deficit to the front runners at just two tenths per lap, meaning that BMW is on course to retain its place as formula one's third force.Meanwhile, the German driver revealed to the newspaper Bild-Zeitung that he did not engage in any recreational skiing over the winter period, even though he lives in Switzerland."Because of my (2005) injury, it is in my contract that I am not allowed to," he said."But in the summer I do like to rent a boat and do some water-skiing -- there is nothing in the contract about that!"