BMW to quit Formula One - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-29-2009, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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BMW to quit Formula One

Interesting news http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3148757e-7...44feabdc0.html

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BMW to quit Formula One

By Daniel Schäfer in Frankfurt
Published: July 29 2009 11:44 | Last updated: July 29 2009 11:44

BMW dealt a blow to Formula One on Wednesday as the world’s largest premium carmaker announced it would withdraw from the racing series at the end of this year’s championship.

The German group said its decision to pull out of F1 after a decade of racing was due to its strategic move towards “green” technologies.
“As our company places stronger focus on sustainability initiatives, our participation in Formula One becomes less a key promoter of this engagement,” said Norbert Reithofer, BMW chief executive.

BMW is the second high-profile team in the last 12 months to quit F1, after Japan’s Honda Motor left the racing series last December.
The move is also a blow to F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and CVC, the private equity group that is the controlling shareholder of Formula One Group, the commercial enterprise that runs the series.

It marks the beginning of the end to a decade of F1 domination by large carmakers. BMW’s withdrawal will leave just four manufacturers – Fiat-owned Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Toyota – in the series.
BMW’s decision came as the teams were close to signing a new commercial agreement that would have committed them to F1 until at least the end of 2012.

The German carmaker is spending more than €200m for F1 this year, at a time when car sales are falling rapidly and carmakers around the world are looking to cut costs.

It reported a loss for the first quarter of 2009, its second consecutive quarterly net loss, and Mr Reithofer has previously vowed to step up cost-cutting measures and to increase its net cash position.

Before the start of this year’s season, the BMW Sauber team had been seen as a serious contender for the championship. But the team has failed to cope with new regulations that fundamentally changed the setup of F1 cars.

BMW Sauber drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica have so far only scored eight points in 10 races, leaving their team in eighth position in the constructors’ championship.

“In the current season, we have unfortunately not been able to match expectations,” Klaus Draeger, BMW’s head of development, said.
Mr Ecclestone said he believed BMW’s failure to challenge the world title in recent years has been the reason for the withdrawal.

After supplying UK racing team Williams with engines for six years, BMW acquired Swiss team Sauber in 2005.

The team, which employs about 700 people in Munich and Hinwil, Switzerland, finished third behind Ferrari and McLaren in last year’s constructors’ championship.

“When you consider how much money they have spent and the results they have got, it’s probably not such a good investment,” Mr Ecclestone told BBC Radio Five Live.

BMW’s withdrawal follows months of infighting between the teams and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, F1’s ruling body, over plans for sweeping changes to the sport’s governing rules.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-29-2009, 08:37 AM
 
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a shame, last year they did very very well and I thought that perhaps in 2010 they would be back to the top with Ferrari and McLaren

I hope the team finds a new owner and continues to race with another name
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-29-2009, 11:20 AM
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It will be very interesting to see where Kubica and Heidfeld end up. My guess is that Kubica will go to McLaren and Heidfeld to Renault or Williams.

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-29-2009, 12:43 PM
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Didn't realise BMW was still in F1.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-29-2009, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer View Post
Didn't realise BMW was still in F1.
Didn't you see the 318i in sales rep spec on the starting grid in Hungary?

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post #6 of 9 Old 07-29-2009, 07:58 PM
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It would not surprise me to see F1 fade away as with most racing.

It's an absurd expense and it's environmentally very unfriendly.

We are seeing great change in the world.

This part on BMW's side does not surprise me.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-29-2009, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by archiegibbs View Post
Didn't you see the 318i in sales rep spec on the starting grid in Hungary?
I did, it was next to the Force India Super Tatra
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-30-2009, 12:00 PM
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I think that a privateer BMW team should replace the works team. Given that most BMW owners think their cars are faster than F1 cars it should make for very interesting racing.

Currently F1 cars are unable to slipstream the car in front, but as we know, BMW drivers are more than capable of driving within 1 inch of the rear of the car in front of them and can still talk on their mobile phone, re-programme their sat nav at the same time, or alternatively look in the vanity mirror to check their hair looks OK.

The team should consist of a couple of sales reps in standard flat black 318 diesels, complete with cloth trim. The drivers should be decked out wearing fake Tag Heuer watches, fake YSL shirts and Paco Rabane suits, and of course the obligatory Ray-Bans. Blond highlights in their hair should also be considered as should changing the drivers names to Steve.

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-30-2009, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer View Post
Didn't realise BMW was still in F1.
LOL, agree: only thing to make it more unseen is have Button drive it


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gcalo View Post
It would not surprise me to see F1 fade away as with most racing.

It's an absurd expense and it's environmentally very unfriendly.

We are seeing great change in the world.

This part on BMW's side does not surprise me.
naw, there will be a F1, but perhaps under a diff management

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