BMW to form own F1 team through takeover
22 June 2005, MUNICH - German carmakers BMW will compete with their own Formula One team from next season on by taking over a majority stake of the Swiss Sauber team, BMW announced on Wednesday.
22 June 2005
MUNICH - German carmakers BMW will compete with their own Formula One team from next season on by taking over a majority stake of the Swiss Sauber team, BMW announced on Wednesday.
BMW said that the team's official name, its drivers and structure will be worked out until the official takeover date on January 1, 2006.
"After acquiring a majority shareholding in the Swiss Sauber team, a BMW managed team will be contesting the Formula One world championship as early as 2006. This was decided by the BMW Board of Management on Tuesday," BMW said.
"BMW is striking out on a new path in Formula One. It means that, for the first time in company history, BMW will be competing independently in Formula One," the company said.
No financial details were released of the deal
BMW board member Burkhard Goeschel said there is so far no agreement on the future of BMW with their current partners Williams whom they supply with engines.
However, Williams and BMW are expected to go separate ways after six years once the 2005 season is over. The contract officials runs until 2009.
The two sides have been at odds in recent weeks and Williams are in talks with engine makers such as their former partners Honda.
Goeschel said the move showed BMW's commitment to F1 racing while the company's motorsport boss Mario Theissen outlined the reason for the formation of the team.
"The influence of the engine on the on the winning potential of the overall package has diminished, the car, tyres and drivers play a greater role than they used to. An optimal overall package can only be achieved with a fully integrated team and coherent processes throughout," he said.
Theissen said the takeover will not endanger Sauber's headquarters in Hinwil, but rather lead to new jobs there. The team will be run from there and the BMW headquarters in Munich.
Peter Sauber formed the Sauber company in 1970 and has been engaged in Formula One since 1993 as one of the most successful independent teams.
"For Sauber, the partnership with BMW is an ideal solution as it supports two goals...to offer the team the possibility of improving their sporting performance and to safeguard the site at Hinwil and the jobs of today's 300-strong workforce," Sauber said.
BMW failed to win a world title with Williams and don't expect success from the start on their own either.
"We do not expect instant success from the new constellation, but we are convinced that we have chosen the right path for the long term," said Goeschel.
Subject: German news