BMW recently told Autosport that it has no intentions of returning to Formula 1. The German carmaker first ventured into F1 as an engine supplier to Brabham 35 years ago, in 1982 to be precise. However, it departed from the sport in 1987 only to return in 2000 albeit as a supplier to Williams. Together, the pair won ten races. Five years later, in 2005, BMW assumed control of Sauber, rebranded it, and won the Canadian Grand Prix in 2008. BMW raced in Formula 1 till 2009, when it withdrew in light of a global financial crunch.
However, with Liberty Media in place as the sport’s new owner, the circuit was abuzz with the sentiment that an improvement in the championship’s popularity was likely to attract more carmakers. Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body of motor sport, is counting on manufacturers not currently involved in F1 to participate in discussions to draw up engine rules for after 2020. According to an agreement between FIA and the group of manufacturers presently involved in F1, the V6 turbo hybrid engine will remain in place at least until 2020.
BMW doesn’t have any plans to return to the sport either. The company, in a statement to Autosport, said, “When we decided to pull out of Formula 1 in 2009 it was a long-term strategic decision of the company. We wanted to put some of the F1 resources into the research and development of alternative powertrain solutions – and so BMW did. We established ourselves as the leading premium car manufacturer in the field of electric mobility. We are watching the developments in the world of motorsport, but currently we have no plans to re-enter Formula 1.”
Ford, another ex-participant, clarified its stance about the prospect of an F1 return considering the colossal expenditure involved. Last month, Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance, said, “Formula 1 is so expensive. If you look at every series we are in right now there is a relevance to all the goals and objectives we have, in developing our tools, technology and people and translating that into road cars. Every series that we’re in has an element of that.”
Published in: Car and Bike