Så fort man vänder ryggen till så händer det något stort. Idag var det dags igen.. BMW drar sig ur Formel 1, och de gör det mer eller mindre omedelbart. Vilket vill säga efter årets säsong.
Det hela kommer ju knappast som någon överraskning, men det är ju en riktigt tråkig nyhet. Det känns som att efter att Honda hoppade av är det flera andra som på allvar tagit sig en funderare på att göra samma sak. Finanskrisen har inte hjälpt, och FIA, FOTA och Bernies larviga fighter har definitivt inte hjälpt.
16 säsonger har stallet kört Formel 1 men i år har de knappt skrapat ihop poäng. Jag skulle gissa att Kubica får en plats i nytt stall ganska snabbt, särskilt bland de nya är hans namn nog hett. Heidfeld däremot har sett ut att vara på väg ut ur sporten ett tag och det hade överraskat i alla fall mig om han satt i en ny bil säsongen 2010.
Så här skriver man i pressmeddelandet från stallet;
The BMW Group will not continue its Formula One campaign after the end of the 2009 season. Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability. BMW will continue to be actively involved in other motor sports series. The landmark decision to restructure BMW Motorsport’s activities was made at the Board of Management’s meeting yesterday.
“Of course, this was a difficult decision for us. But it’s a resolute step in view of our company’s strategic realignment. Premium will increasingly be defined in terms of sustainability and environmental compatibility. This is an area in which we want to remain in the lead. In line with our Strategy Number ONE, we are continually reviewing all projects and initiatives to check them for future viability and sustainability. Our Formula One campaign is thus less a key promoter for us. Mario Theissen has been in charge of our motor sports program since 1999. We have scored a large number of successes in this period, including some in Formula One racing. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mario Theissen and his team for this,” – Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
“It only took us three years to establish ourselves as a top team with the BMW Sauber F1 Team. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet expectations in the current season. Nevertheless, our ten years of Formula One experience have had a major impact on our development engineers. We have racing to thank for numerous technological innovations as well as the competitive spirit that drives us to develop mass-produced cars.
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.” – Dr. Klaus Draeger, the member of the Board of Management responsible for development
“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. We will now focus sharply on the remaining races and demonstrate our fighting spirit and put in a good result as we bid farewell to Formula One racing.” – BMW Motorsport director Dr. Mario Theissen
Och så här skriver FIA i sitt uttalande som svar;
The FIA regrets the announcement of BMW’s intended withdrawal from Formula One but is not surprised by it.
It has been clear for some time that motor sport cannot ignore the world economic crisis. Car manufacturers cannot be expected to continue to pour large sums of money into Formula One when their survival depends on redundancies, plant closures and the support of the taxpayer.
This is why the FIA prepared regulations to reduce costs drastically. These measures were needed to alleviate the pressure on manufacturers following Honda’s withdrawal but also to make it possible for new teams to enter.
Had these regulations not been so strongly opposed by a number of team principals, the withdrawal of BMW and further such announcements in the future might have been avoided.
Nevertheless, as a result of a sustained cost-cutting campaign by the FIA, new measures are in the process of being agreed which should make it easier for new teams to enter and enable existing ones to participate on much reduced budgets.
It is no secret that these measures do not go as far as the FIA would have liked but a compromise was needed in the interests of harmony in the sport. Hopefully it will be enough to prevent further withdrawals and provide a solid foundation for Formula One.
As the guardian of the sport, the FIA is committed to ensuring that Formula One remains financially sustainable for all competing teams and it will always act to ensure that this remains the case.
Och så var det stallföreningen FOTAs svar;
Statement by FOTA Secretary General
“With regard to the announcement made today by BMW, FOTA Teams have immediately consulted each other and are ready to assure all the necessary support to the Swiss-based team, whose membership in the association is confirmed, to continue its involvement in the F1 Sport.
It is worth to mention that a professional work has already begun within FOTA, aimed at increasing the involvement of the fans and at improving the F1 show. Among those initiatives, one that could be interesting is the introduction of a third car on the grid. FOTA will seek the opinions of all the most relevant stakeholders in order to exchange ideas and define proposals for the future of Formula One.
FOTA Teams now wish to have the necessary certainty and stability within Formula One in order to focus on those fundamental priorities for the future.”
FOTA – Formula One Teams Association