Honda F1 website

FEBRUARY 21, 2005

Sauber officially joins the rebels

The Sauber team has added its voice to the car manufacturers' plan to go ahead and develop a breakaway Formula 1 series. The Swiss team had to check with its partners, notably Credit Suisse, before officially joining BAR-Honda, BMW-Williams, McLaren-Mercedes, Minardi, Renault and Toyota. This means that the best that Bernie Ecclestone, Ferrari and the FIA can hope for is to attract Red Bull Racing and Midland F1 to join Ferrari in the "official" series. This would be unlikely to be able to survive and so compromise is clearly needed. The good news is that the manufacturers have offered Ferrari an olive branch to join the new series if the Italian team chooses to do so.

The big question is whether or not Red Bull Racing and Midland F1 will join the party as well. There are doubts about both, as having new owners they may be more susceptible (and more naive) than the long-standing teams. However as the majority of the teams have declared themselves in favour of the new series, it is logical that a marketing company like Red Bull will understand that it is best to go with the majority. Red Bull likes to portray itself as a rebel kind of company and so signing up with Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA is not really logical. Midland has other problems. It wants to use Ferrari engines in 2006 and that might mean that it must do as Ferrari says in addition to giving the Italian team a truck-load of money for the new V8s.