BMW must be feeling pretty satisfied with itself at the moment. Having just announced that it intends to dump the Williams F1 racing team at the end of the season in exchange for a full purchase of the Swiss Sauber team, it must now feel completely in charge of its F1 destiny.
However, if I were Peter Sauber, I’d be wondering what kind of future the team I had spent so long building is going to have with BMW in the driving seat. We all know that F1 is a mightily expensive game – budgets of over £500m per year are spoken about when referring to the Grandee teams, such as Ferrari, McLaren and Renault – and yet, it has been said (by the new Renault chairman, Carlos Ghosn, no less), that F1 is an investment when you’re winning, and an expense when you’re losing.
Right now, BMW is in collaboration with a winning team, down on its luck. The guys at Williams have been running at the front of the F1 grid since Clay Regazzoni took the first victory for the team in the British GP back in 1979. Okay, the glory days of Williams-Honda and Williams-Renault are long gone now, but the truth of the matter is that Williams is an outfit that knows how to win, whereas Sauber, are at best, a podium scoring team…
So what’s this got to do with our website, I hear you ask? Well, Rover was bought at great expense by BMW back in 1994, loads of money was invested, and this cash injection did not bear fruit within a five-year time scale. In the end, the Bavarians gave up, with the winning post in site, and allowed the British company to continue on its long path towards oblivion.
Now, it seems, Sauber has been picked up for a huge amount of money from BMW, and doesn’t realistically look likely to start winning in the medium term… So will it last more the Rover’s six years?
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.