BMW has announced that it will be pulling out of Formula One at the end of the 2009 season, the second car manufacturer to do so in eight months after Honda pulled out in December.

Dr. Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the BMW board, said: “Of course this was a difficult decsion for us. But it’s a resolute step in view of our company’s strategic realingment.”

Bernie Ecclestone has put poor performance on track down to the decision, talking to BBC Radio Five Live he said: “Recently when I spoke to Mario Theissen, the team manager, he said they had three years to win the world championship,”

“That’s what he wanted to do and he was quite confident they would. But it appears it’s not quite been like that, so perhaps that’s why they’ve (chosen) to stop.”

Back in May Theissen denied reports that bosses at BMW were thinking of pulling the plug on it’s F1 program this year saying “We analysed and evaluated the situation and the F1 programme with the board prior to the start of the season in February, 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.”

BMW Sauber was formed in 2006 when BMW took the decision to buy the Sauber team and have enjoyed moderate success with a 2nd place in the championship in 2007 and 3rd last year.

This season is far from this success though with Robert Kubica scoring 2 points and Nick Heidfeld 6 points.