F1 links: No BMW buyer yet

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Statement BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen

BMW has not been able to arrange the sale of its F1 team in time for the new owners to sign the Concorde Agreement.

FOTA welcomes Concorde Agreement and looks to the future

"Signed by all Formula One teams, with the only exception of BMW-Sauber AG, the FIA, and Formula One Administration (FOA), Concorde 2009 lays down the commercial and regulatory guidelines for Formula 1 whilst guaranteeing the teams’ participation until the end of the 2012 season." FOTA confirms all the F1 teams apart from BMW have signed the new Concorde Agreement.

Doubts linger over Schumacher fitness

"The seven-time world champion was injured in a motorcycle testing accident earlier this year, and [his spokeswoman Sabine] Kehm admitted that until he had been given the all-clear there was still a possibility that he may not race in the European Grand Prix on August 23."

Michael Schumacher: The most divisive man in F1

"I don’t even rate him much as a racer. For me, his wheel-to-wheel skills were rather poor, and he disguised this by being overly aggressive. That was why he often panicked under pressure, such as at Jerez in 1997. If he found himself in the midfield, he sometimes had very clumsy races indeed — his botched move on Takuma Sato at Suzuka in 2003 springs to mind."

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “F1 links: No BMW buyer yet”

  1. I like vee8, but I’m a bit baffled why he says if Schumacher asked to test he had “sought ways to cheat.” They asked for permission. If it had been granted by all the teams and the governing body, why would that have been cheating?

    1. I agree. Schumacher was a villain for sure, but asking permission to test certainly doesnt come off as cheating to me, especially in comparison to some of his most nefarious deeds…

  2. P.P. Sauber disagrees with Dr. M. Theissen, according to Autosport.com: “… the negotiations with BMW have failed because the demands were simply far too high for me. Consequently, I have been unable to sign the Concorde Agreement, which guarantees payments worth millions and would have secured the future of the team.”

  3. I still think Nelson Piquet (the old one) will buy it so that Jr will still have his spot under the sun, as it was in GP3, F3000, kart……
    the way this funny season is going on, I don’t doubt anything!

  4. BMW shows how a team can devalue itself while hoping to sell off its assets. Without the concord agreement signed, any new owner is buying the assets without knowing if they will get a slot on the grid.
    Why couldn’t they learn from Honda, or sell the team breaking up the payment over a few years.

    1. Williams 4ever
      6th August 2009, 22:17

      Why couldn’t they learn from Honda, or sell the team breaking up the payment over a few years

      Cultural difference. This Exit from F1 will be a good test of Cultural sensitivities, Japanese Marquee could have played hardball with Nick-Brawn and ensured Nick-Brawn never made it to the grid( Remember How Nick Fry thwarted off all the backers Aguri Suzuki used to present to Honda Board to keep Super Aguri afloat), But they ended up with Win-Lose Bargain, where Nick Brawn got good Alimony and Honda ended up supporting the team without getting any credit for the successes of the team in the first half of the season…

      Quite a reflection…

      1. I didn’t actually mean what Honda did positively, but the mistakes of Honda. Choosing the very last minute to pull out was never a sensible thing. BMW could have signed the concord agreement. Hold meetings in secret about offloading their race operation. Not just surprise their entire personnel and yet expect premium price for a failed brand.

        Regarding Nick, I feel he didn’t want SuperAguri to succeed, as it would be a threat to the Honda works team. So it was nice to see him spending some sleepless nights and unshaven mornings scratching his head as he found the carpet had been pulled from underneath his feet. In the end he was still fortunate.

        Back to BMW, I sort of get the feeling they are not too keen on selling the outfit. They have plenty of time to give their staff notice of impending redundancies, and then just pay them off and mothball everything. The last thing they want is for a SauberGp or PiquetSnubFlavGp winning everything the next season.

  5. Lets wish the best for the people in Hinwil. Maybe a buyer will appear. Hopefully the authorities in F1 will give them a little bit of time. There is a tremendous amount of expertise there that cannot go to waste.

    1. Williams 4ever
      6th August 2009, 22:20

      There is a tremendous amount of expertise there that cannot go to waste.

      Rest assured there are enough vultures on the grid to pounce on the remains..

      Reminds me of how hiring Cosworth Engineers on back of Cosworth exit in 2006 made McLaren Engines more reliable. The Fragile power unit at back of McLaren car in 2005-06 became bulletproof in 2007-08, thanks to those Cosworth Engineers coming on McLaren-Mercedes Board

      1. Cosworth didn’t exactly have reliable engines. The rev limits did wonders for the reliability of the Mercedes engine, as I don’t recall Mclaren ever making engines.

        1. Williams 4ever
          7th August 2009, 15:14

          Cosworth didn’t exactly have reliable engines.

          Correction under 2006 regulation Cosworth had two different sets of Engines rev limited V10s for STR ( Formerly Minardi) and new Spec V8 for Williams. Cosworth was the most reliable engine on that years grid. Most of the issues that Williams had that year were in other areas. Everytime Webber looked to be in position of finishing 5-6th he would retire with transmission/clutch/brake issues which essentially were Williams related issues.

          Further Cosworth was the only engine which could operate at highest rev limits without stress. I have some videos of Cosworth Engine tests compared with Competitors.

          Of the other teams Mercedes was never able to successully resolve their engine mapping related issues through out the year and their cars always were off the pace.

          Norbert Haug Hiring the Exodus from Cosworth got lots of knowledge base to Mercedes/McLaren and their Engine Department has delivered best power plant ever since.

          Don’t you remember Norbert Haug Basking in Brawn Glory and making comments “Quality of Engines to our Partner Prove our Capability” statements, and pass the buck to Woking Camp for Shambles in early 2009 season. I wish, Woking had shown some nerve in 2005-06 when Haugs Shortcomings caused them championship. Instead Ron Dennis took easy path and passed the blame on his drivers KR/JPM (Of course only after Contract with Alonso was signed and New Sponsors were onboard )

  6. Could Prodrive take BMW’s place?

    1. Prodrive take BMW’s power and do what with it, make lawn mowers? Prodrive didn’t get a race slot. Doubt Mosley will give them without EU intervention. BMW say they wont supply any engines, they are pulling out completely.
      So if Sauber takes over he may end up teaming up with old partners Mercedes.

  7. StrFerrari4Ever
    6th August 2009, 23:21

    Only if the Sauber team could return to be under its own power i miss the livery and the Petronas engines even if it was a rebadged Fezza engine but if indeed there’s going to be a buyer e.g Piquet Snr or Prodrive they can use the expertise of the BMW employee’s and do a better job than what the BMW team made them do the F1.09 is a total failure I know the people at BMW can achieve much more than what they have done this year.

  8. Meh, it’s business. BMW is taking a hit by ensuring that future attempts to buy-out a team in F1 will meet with stiff resistance and more binding contracts to ensure they don’t behave like this again. As a publicly traded company they have a mandate to ensure they get the maximum from any assets they have. Selling it to Peter Sauber for $1 for touchy-feely reasons like “for the good of the sport” etc. don’t make the cut in a boardroom meeting.

    Things work differently in Japan, as anyone with corporate experience there will tell you – they have much more leeway, and doing each other favors is a way of life in the corporate world there.

    1. Well I don’t believe all that. BMW sold the entire Rover assets sans Mini for $1. In the eyes of the BMW management, the F1 team is seen as a loss making venture, just as they saw the Rover subsidiary as a loss making venture.
      Winding down a venture in Europe is more difficult than in America. A company is treated like a human being in Europe. So when a company folds up there are enquiries and blah blah that go on. Try asking Prost what he is still facing years after his racing team went under.

      How much will it cost BMW to pay severence to its staff, some of whom may have a long term contract, is not known, but without doubt its unlikely to be cheap.

      While I am not suggesting they sell the team for a dollar, they can also look at the economic climate and spread the payment over a number of years taking into consideration the fact that they will no longer have any liability of the employment of the team personnel.

    2. Williams 4ever
      7th August 2009, 15:21

      As a publicly traded company they have a mandate to ensure they get the maximum from any assets they have.

      Hmm so Honda Management apparently had none of those obligations to their Shareholders and Partners.

      Things work differently in Japan, as anyone with corporate experience there will tell you – they have much more leeway, and doing each other favors is a way of life in the corporate world there.

      Thanks to Globalization these are things of past and West has effectively forced its ways on rest of the world, and whatever you mentioned may not necessarily be true.

      It just shows the bargaining (Conning) Power of Nick Fry to suck last bit of juice from the lemon ;-).

      At this moment Peter Sauber must be wishing he had Clone of Nick Fry on his team :D

      1. Whatever you may say about Globalisation etc, honour is still very important in Japanese Business. And it would have been seen as dishonourable for them to have shut the F1 team down when there was a way to save a large number of the jobs by supporting Ross Brawn’s buyout.

        What I wonder in the BMW situation is, Peter Sauber is reported to still own a 20% share in the team. What’s that worth to him now if the team isn’t saved? I would be interested to hear Mario Thiesen’s personal opinion on all this – though of cause we’re not likely to any time soon.

  9. I think the BMW board looked at all their brands and advertising budgets, and decided which one had to go to support the rest – at least the Touring Cars still relate to what they sell in the showroom. And of course, being level-headed businesspeople, they will want to sell their assets for as much as they can get.
    What surprises me is that Peter Sauber is not allowed a claim even though the team still bears his name. Did he sell the rights to the name to BMW along with the team? I cannot remember.
    Also, didn’t their original press release mention a possible entry into ALMS? Maybe that is where the real interest is now, and with the beginnings of hybrid LMP cars, BMW (and possibly others?) might see it as better value for money than boring old politically inbred lame duck and antisocial F1…….

  10. oe Saward’s take on Sauber’s chances of getting a buyer. Pretty bleak. Teams already have the assets they need so buying off bits and pieces is unlikely. The workers are the ones that will take the big hit.

    Still, I hope someone will pick it up. BMW really sucks on how they bungled this whole thing.

    1. Plus some of the fixed assets and not easily relocatable. If they are hoping on Manor, USGPE or Campos, picking up the assets, they can dream on. Albert1 and maybe Albert2 might be marketable. Although Albert1 goes back to before Sauber sold to BMW, and I cant see what Albert2 has done for BMW.

  11. Good thing Williams didn’t accept the offer from BMW to buy into his team.

  12. Michael Schumacher was a divisive man, and Terminator Alonso made sure that the Kaiser divided no mo´
    Fast Fred sent him packing, and thats history

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