BMW-Sauber team will ride out 2009 season but will not return for 2010.
BMW will not return to Formula One after the 2009 season, the company said yesterday in a press release. After watching the BMW-powered Williams cars flounder, BMW decided to buy a majority stake in the team in 2005, (re-naming it BMW-Sauber), in the hopes that under strict corporate control it could be victorious. That would not be and BMW’s lack of success, particularly this year where it has just 8 points in 10 races and sits eighth overall, was a significant factor in the withdrawal.
The other major factors include the massive costs incurred in running an F1 team as well as what BMW says is a new corporate strategy.
“Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability,” read the statement.
Team boss Mario Theissen said BMW is now looking for a buyer for its team. With BMW done, it leaves just four manufacturers competing in motorsports’ top tier championship: Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and McLaren/Mercedes. Three other manufacturers are expected to join F1 next year.
BMW’s decision comes several months after Honda pulled from Formula One in December.
[Source: Automotive News]