Final: BMW Superbike versus F1

Final: BMW Superbike versus F1
BMW

Final:

BMW Superbike versus F1

Nick Heidfeld usually sits in a Formula 1 racer and Troy Corser on a superbike. At the BMW-Sauber-F1-Experience at the Nürburgring, the two exchanged arms.

E.They seem a little lost, the three-man pit crew with their BMW superbike. Four roller doors farther on, what feels like 25 men scurry around a Formula 1 racing car, screwing, typing on laptops and adjusting a seat for Troy Corser for 45 minutes.

The superbike just stands there and waits. Pretty lonely, because the invited audience, a few hundred employees from Formula 1 sponsors and a few hand-picked journalists, are initially only interested in the rocket on four wheels.

Such a car looks astonishingly small, low anyway, and pretty short because the nose is still missing. It is only assembled shortly before the start, you could step on the noble carbon fowl. Such a hit opens up new worlds for technology gourmets. Those beautifully shaped carbon fiber handlebars on the front axle, those upper-arm stainless steel manifolds that gush out of the cylinder heads, huge coolers that are almost in the side pods, and of course those many small spoilers, baffles and ribs that testify to countless hours of hard work in the wind tunnel. Madness, this effort.

The two-wheeled racing machine, on the other hand, does not look very sophisticated. It is BMW’s first season in the Superbike World Championship, a class that is based on series machines, so the direct comparison to Formula 1 is of course doubly lacking, where, by the way, about fifty times the annual budget of the two-wheeler racers is spent.

Let it warm up: Nick Heidfeld heads for the motorcycle box, the mechanics start the four-cylinder, warm it up with rhythmic bursts of gas. A familiar, comfortably throaty sound is heard. Then the inferno breaks loose. A short screech of the electric starter, Baaaaaaaaahm, the F1 screams at idle like a hundred thousand Italians at a World Championship victory, the Superbike people do pantomime. Nothing more can be heard from the motorcycle. Slightly tormented, one of the earplugs fingers from the tool box, which one gratefully presses into the ear canals. The laptop plays the warm-up program, nobody is sitting in the bolide. And Troy Corser, otherwise a pretty cool sock, doesn’t really seem too safe either. Moving this infernal device in a species-appropriate manner is probably an impossibility. There’s no going back, the car says Corser, so Corser has to get in.

In the meantime, Nick Heidfeld, who looks almost delicate in his leather suit, has had second Superbike rider Ruben Xaus explain the many buttons on the racing machine to him. The secrets of the thumb brake for the rear wheel, the gears – he wants to know everything exactly. Put your helmet on and off you go. Quick Nick resolutely drives the BMW down the pit lane. It’s not going to drive for the first time. After a few laps he is no longer sitting on the motorcycle as if he were wearing a seat belt, sometimes dragging his knee on the floor, but he looks good. Of course, it brakes a little early and it is also more inclined. But he turns the stove to the limit – honorable.

Sonnyboy Corser doesn’t smile anymore, but he comes out of the box flawlessly and doesn’t let anything burn either. In terms of sound, it is right at the front with the 2.4-liter V8 rotating at 18500 rpm. He also manages to brake late and turn quickly. And when he comes back in after a few quick laps, all the wheels are still in place. Well done. “It’s so easy!” He says happily and would like to sign an F1 contract right away. Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Race Director, smiles away.

He’s even happier when Nick comes back inside. How was it? “Super! The racing machine is much easier to drive than the series. ”Why? “It rises too quickly when you accelerate and when you brake, the rear comes up. That doesn’t happen with the racing machine. ”And the thumb brake? “I only used it to brake.” “Well, the boys are drifting into the corners with it, I didn’t do that.” Aha. Nick smiles relaxed. Somehow he seems to have changed, comes across as more relaxed. Our small motorcycle world has probably generated great feelings.

Finally, a sad chapter on driving dynamics: How long does the F1 need to lap the superbike on the Nürburgring short circuit? Good three rounds! Robert Kubica and Ruben Xaus are testing it now. Full attack, Xaus only holds against it until the first corner. Then the F1 pulls away “I saw something in the corner of my eye, it shot past me and made wuuwuuwuu!” Describes Xaus the lapping. As I said, fifty times as much money, you can be a biker with your head held high.

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