There are two big pieces of Formula One news today, neither of which were covered by the major wire services (and just another example of how mainstream media continue to view the world of motorsport).
Item 1: BMW has sold its Formula One team back to former owner Peter Sauber after the deal with Qadbak Investment Ltd. fell through.
The sale, however, is conditional on the team having a spot on the F1 grid in 2010.
Sauber tried to buy the team back immediately after BMW announced its withdrawal from F1 in July but was rejected. Apparently, the company felt the offer from Qadbak (whoever and whatever they are has always been a mystery) was firm – and obviously was for a lot more money.
However, with the collapse of the Qadbak deal, Sauber’s offer became more appealing and the deal has been done.
No word on the fate of Dr. Mario Theissen, who has been the face of BMW-F1 since the German automaker got into the engine-supply business and then after it became a team owner in 2006.
Item 2: Although the BMW-Sauber deal is important, this next bit is more significant. Volkswagen, the world’s largest car manufacturer, is seriously considering going into the F1 engine business.
According to Hans Stuck (remember him in F1 in the 1970s? His father is a legend in Germany), Volkswagen is not interested in forming a team on its own or even making a deal with individual teams. No, it will go into the engine manufacturing business and the motors will be available to anyone who wants them.
As it stands, Cosworth is the only choice for a number of the new teams going into F1 next season, now that Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault are the only engine manufacturers remaining (and cross fingers about Renault, because their involvement is still very much up in the air).
The addition of Volkswagen will be most welcome.
To read an interview with Stuck, click here.