View Full Version : Auf Wiedersehen BMW Sauber?

07-28-2009, 09:42 PM
Wasn't expecting this!


F1 braced for BMW exit announcement

BMW's future in Formula 1 is in serious doubt amid mounting speculation that the German car manufacturer will announce its withdrawal from the sport at the end of this season, on Wednesday.
An emergency press conference has been called at BMW's headquarters in Munich, where it is suggested that the car company may reveal that it has decided to end its involvement in F1.
The invite to the press conference said it had been called because of 'current developments in motor sport.'
The press conference will be hosted by Dr. Norbert Reithofer, the chairman of the BMW board, Dr. Klaus Draeger, the director for development, and Mario Theissen, BMW motorsport director. The presence of such senior management figures suggests that the announcement will be very significant.
Officials at BMW refused to comment about what the press conference was about, but they did confirm that it was 'important' news.
BMW had hoped to fight for the world championship this year, but instead the F1.09 has fallen short of expectations. Its struggles, allied to the abandonment of its KERS, that BMW had pushed hard for in F1, are likely to have played a part in any decision about the future of the team.
Although BMW Sauber had a difficult start to the season, Theissen has made it clear on several occasions that the team's form had not changed the BMW Board's commitment to F1.
"We analysed and evaluated the situation and the F1 programme with the board prior to the start of the season in February," said Theissen in May. "It was overall a very positive evaluation and judgement, and that hasn't changed.
"Apparently everybody is disappointed about the sporting results, but other than that there is no news and we have not discussed it since."
However, sources suggest that a review meeting was planned for July to decide the future of the team - and this may be behind any announcement planned for the morning.
Should BMW confirm it is pulling out of the sport, it will be the second car manufacturer to do so in eight months - with Honda having announced last December that it was to leave the sport.
The announcement will be more of a surprise, however, because BMW Sauber was on the verge of signing a Concorde Agreement that would have committed the team to F1 until the end of 2012.

07-29-2009, 06:36 AM
It's official - bmw quits F1 -BMW to Exit Formula One at End of 2009 Season

* 29.07.2009
* Press Release

Resolute Step En Route to Realigning the BMW Group

Munich.The BMW Group will not continue its Formula One campaign after the end of the 2009 season. Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability. BMW will continue to be actively involved in other motor sports series. The landmark decision to restructure BMW Motorsport’s activities was made at the Board of Management’s meeting yesterday.
“Of course, this was a difficult decision for us. But it’s a resolute step in view of our company's strategic realignment," explained Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Premium will increasingly be defined in terms of sustainability and environmental compatibility. This is an area in which we want to remain in the lead. In line with our Strategy Number ONE, we are continually reviewing all projects and initiatives to check them for future viability and sustainability. Our Formula One campaign is thus less a key promoter for us. Mario Theissen has been in charge of our motor sports program since 1999. We have scored a large number of successes in this period, including some in Formula One racing. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mario Theissen and his team for this,” said Reithofer.
Dr. Klaus Draeger, the member of the Board of Management responsible for development, said: “It only took us three years to establish ourselves as a top team with the BMW Sauber F1 Team. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet expectations in the current season. Nevertheless, our ten years of Formula One experience have had a major impact on our development engineers. We have racing to thank for numerous technological innovations as well as the competitive spirit that drives us to develop mass-produced cars.” Possible redundancies in Munich and Hinwil cannot be quantified at present. Says Draeger: “Since we only made this decision yesterday, we cannot provide any more precise information. We will develop and assess various scenarios and do our best to find a solution for the employees in Hinwil and the staff members involved in the Formula One project in Munich. We are aware of the responsibility we shoulder and will inform the staff as soon as we can make a clear statement."
Says BMW Motorsport director Dr. Mario Theissen: “Of course, we, the employees in Hinwil and Munich, would all have liked to continue this ambitious campaign and show that this season was just a hiccup following three successful years. But I can understand why this decision was made from a corporate perspective. We will now focus sharply on the remaining races and demonstrate our fighting spirit and put in a good result as we bid farewell to Formula One racing.”
BMW will continue its programs in a number of motor sports series: BMW will appear on the starting grid in the touring car series and young driver promotion program in Formula BMW. This will be supplemented by BMW’s participation in ALMS, the American Le Mans Series, endurance races and close-to-production customer sports. Furthermore, BMW Motorrad Motorsport will continue its campaigns, with the super bike world championship leading the way.
BMW looks back on a long track record of success in the field of motor sports:
BMW achieved eight Formula One victories from 1982 to 1985 with Brabham. In 1983, BMW won the driver’s championship with Nelson Piquet (Brabham BMW). The last win with the legendary turbo engine followed with Benetton in 1986. Ten victories were scored during the partnership with Williams (2000-2005). BMW had a total of 19 grand prix wins and 33 pole positions before the BMW Sauber F1 Team era.
In its debut season in 2006, the newly established BMW Sauber F1 Team wound up fifth in the constructor’s championship. In 2007, the German-Swiss team came in second after McLaren-Mercedes’ exclusion from the points standings. The 2008 season saw the team in the hunt for the world championship until the end of the season, winding up third. Polish-born Robert Kubica achieved the first and hitherto only GP victory in Canada on June 8, 2008. So far, the BMW Sauber F1 Team has taken one pole position (Kubica in Bahrain in 2008) and 16 podium finishes. The BMW Sauber F1 Team occupies the eighth spot in the manufacturer’s standings in the season presently underway.

07-29-2009, 07:12 AM
I can't help but think their absolutely poor performance this year, after being in contention for both the drivers and manufacturers championships well into last year's season, had a good deal to do with this decision.

I wonder if we'll see Robert Kubica in a red Italian car next year.

07-29-2009, 07:42 AM
was this prompted more because of the floundering economy? as one of the remaining independent car manufacturers, they gotta cut costs somewhere

07-29-2009, 08:18 AM
I'm honestly not surprised at all. The results this year have been dreadful and resources can be placed elsewhere, but I'd still like to see a factory BMW effort in F1. I wonder if BMW can/will be an engine supplier to other teams for next year?

I think it's time for a NASCAR M3.

07-29-2009, 10:22 AM

Wow, I'm not sure these words have ever been put together before.

08-03-2009, 08:17 AM
British Columnist James Allen on BMW's departure from F1: