Sauber und BMW

As we suggested last week Sauber and BMW are in deep conversation about an engine supply for the 2006 season. The Munich manufacturer also says it is talking to Red Bull Racing although we hear from other that the Milton Keynes team has already been told that it will not be getting a deal. That may be just a negotiating position. A relationship between BMW and Sauber is entirely logical given that Sauber's technical director Willy Rampf knows all the right people in Munich having joined BMW from university back in the 1970s and worked there for 15 years before joining Sauber in 1994. Three years later he went back to Munich to become BMW's Enduro Racing Project Manager, leading the technical development of the F650 motorcycle which gave BMW victory on the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1998 with Eddy Orioli and in 1999 with Richard Sainct. Rampf then went back to Sauber in 2000 as technical director.

What is significant is that Michael Ganal, the managing-director of the Motorcycle Division at the time has since moved up to become one of the six-man board of management of the company alongside chairman Dr Helmut Panke. Three of the board are in the their late fifties and the next chairman of BMW will probably be either Ganal (49), Norbert Reithofer (50) or Stefan Krause, the 43-year-old head of finance. A useful connection for Peter Sauber.

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