The BMW Group has today announced its official withdrawal from Formula One at the end of the current season.
The official statement from BMW did not include definitive justification for the landmark decision, although the poor performance of the BMW Sauber F1 team this season is certainly a contributing factor.
Dr Klaus Draeger, the member of the Board of Management responsible for development, has said that it was unfortunate that the team was “unable to meet expectations in the current season”.
As it currently stands, the BMW Sauber F1 team is ranked eighth in the constructors title with a total of eight points, ahead of only STR and Force India.
“Of course, we, the employees in Hinwil and Munich, would all have liked to continue this ambitious campaign and show that this season was just a hiccup following three successful years. But I can understand why this decision was made from a corporate perspective.” said BMW Motorsport director Dr Mario Theissen.
The landmark decision to restructure BMW Motorsport’s activities was made at the Board of Management’s meeting yesterday, with BMW confirming that it would continue to be actively involved in other areas of motor sport.
Possible redundancies in Munich and Hinwil as a result of this decision are yet to be announced, although have not been ruled out.
“Since we only made this decision yesterday, we cannot provide any more precise information. We will develop and assess various scenarios and do our best to find a solution for the employees in Hinwil and the staff members involved in the Formula One project in Munich. We are aware of the responsibility we shoulder and will inform the staff as soon as we can make a clear statement.” said Dr Draeger.
Since its debut season in 2006, the BMW Sauber F1 team has taken one pole position with Kubica finishing first in Bahrain in 2008, and has accumulated a total of 16 podium finishes.