Team boss Mario Theissen says he still respects Polish driver Robert Kubica, despite the Pole's criticism this year about the pace and intensity of development of the 2008 car.

Team boss Mario Theissen says he still respects Polish driver Robert Kubica, despite the Pole's criticism this year about the pace and intensity of development of the 2008 car.

Kubica, 23, has been outspoken this season about BMW's split focus on its 2009 car alongside his unsuccessful bid for the drivers' title, as well as the intense efforts to bring his struggling teammate Nick Heidfeld back up to speed.

Theissen confirms that Kubica has not been easy to work with at times.

"Robert was in top form and if the car was not quick enough he took it as a personal affront," the German said.

"The working relationship was therefore not always easy, but his unreserved determination to achieve success commands respect."

Kubica was in with an outside shot of the drivers' title until late in the season, when a very poor last couple of races meant he even fell behind Kimi Raikkonen for third place in the final classification.

"We made too many mistakes during the weekend and this is the result," the Pole said as he left Brazil.

Theissen insists that "fighting for the world championship title" is BMW-Sauber's goal for 2009.

 

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