Honda F1 website

MARCH 1, 2005

BMW and Sauber

There are reports in Germany - not the first - suggesting that Sauber may be sold to BMW. The idea has been plugged for some years by BMW Motorsport boss Dr Mario Theissen but to date the board of directors has refused to accept the idea. We believe that if BMW does ever decide to do its own team, it would do it in Munich although it is possible that it might use the Sauber windtunnel. Starting an in-house team is a major investment for any manufacturer and it is unlikely that BMW will be willing to commit to such a programme until it knows for sure what is going to happen in F1 politics.

It is thought more likely that BMW and Sauber will conclude an engine deal (if it is not already done) and then the Munich manufacturer would be able to see how Sauber did against Williams. This would certainly act as a spur for Williams which has not been as successful as it would have wished. While BMW likes to trumpet its brilliance and blame Williams when things go wrong, it is worth noting that one of the team's weaknesses in recent years has been Ralf Schumacher, a driver than BMW was very keen to see in the team. BMW pressure has also been applied to get the second seat this year for Nick Heidfeld.