Tuesday March 6th, 2001
By Roger Horton, Melbourne
Speaking in Melbourne, Dr Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director, said he
was happy with the progress made with his new engine over the last twelve
months, despite none of the Williams finishing the Australian Grand Prix last Sunday.
"When we were here last year we started with 750 Horsepower, we finished the
season beyond 800, and we didn't start the new season below the end of last
Dr Theissen stated that they now have a much more mature engine this year
than last, but that they still intended to keep working on reliability
issues before working on more power.
"We were not able to finish one race distance in the car before the first
race one year ago, this year we were already on the dynamometer at end of
September, we had the engine in the car in October.
"We were testing from early December almost weekly, so we completed quite a
lot of mileage."
Despite this extra testing mileage, the BMW-Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya
still failed to make it through to the end of the race. He retired on lap
40 when a connection in an oil line broke causing the engine to fail.
The BMW-Williams of Ralf Schumacher was eliminated in an accident with the
BAR-Honda of Jacques Villeneuve.
The strength of the BMW engine was in evidence as the Williams cars
consistently topped the speed trap times during both qualifying and the race.
During the Grand Prix, Montoya was timed through the speed trap at 312.7 km/h