MAY 24, 1999
BMW at Miramas
THE BMW test team was back in action last week at Miramas while the rest of the Formula 1 circus was running in Barcelona. The driving work was once again being done by Jorg Muller and the engine showed itself to be reliable, although it is still somewhat lacking in horsepower. We understand that there are also problems associated with intense vibration - a common problem with the top F1 engines these days.
It seems, however, that BMW is beginning to comprehend the task it is facing in Grand Prix racing - which was not the case until recently - and we have even heard whispers from Munich that the company may even drop its Le Mans 24 Hour project after this year's race in order to concentrate all its engineers on the F1 engine program. Recent recruitment from other companies has given the BMW men an idea of what is required and with the impressive facilities available in Munich the only question mark with the project remains whether or not there is sufficient support for it in the top management. There is, of course, the additional problem that BMW may not be able to survive as an independent car company and any merger might have repercussions.
The Quandt Family, which controls BMW, is thought unlikely to sell the company to anyone other than Volkswagen, which would be convenient as the Wolfsburg giant does not currently have a Grand Prix project - at least not one which has been made public.
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