Faced with an unravelling deal with the mysterious Qadbak Investments, allegedly traced to a convicted fraudster, BMW have sold their F1 team to former owner Peter Sauber – conditional of the Swiss based team being granted a grid slot for 2010.
“We are very happy with this solution. This fulfils the most important requirement for a successful future for the team,” explained Dr Klaus Draeger, a member of the BMW board. “Our relationship with Peter Sauber has always been excellent and marked by absolute respect. We would like to express our thanks to Peter Sauber and the whole team for the excellent cooperation during the recent four years.”
“”I am very relieved that we have found this solution. It means we can keep the Hinwil location and the majority of workplaces. I am convinced that the new team has a very good future in Formula One,” said Sauber himself of the deal. “I look forward to taking on this new challenge together with them. I would like to thank BMW for four shared years that have in the main been very successful.”
The deal will also mean the Hinwil based workforce is cut from 388 to 250 due to the team restructuring with the loss of BMW's input.
The move arguably sees the team a step closer to being granted an entry in 2010, with Sauber's history as an independent in F1, and wider motorsport, possibly raising the team's chances.
However, with rumours surrounding the sale of Toyota's F1 team (which would mean the buyer was obliged to run in 2010, Toyota having signed the new Concorde Agreement) it is still unknown what teams will be seen in the 2010 opener.