BMW Sauber F1
|Based in: Hinwil, Switzerland|
Founded: 2005 (active since 2006)
Director: Dr. Mario Theissen
Technical director chassis: Willy Rampf
Technicala director engine: Heinz Paschen
Team manager: Beat Zehnder
Munich. It was set in concrete as the day dawned on 22nd June 2005: BMW would for the first time be running its own team in the FIA Formula One World Championship, starting the very next season – 2006. On the afternoon of that same day in June, the Board of Management’s decision was announced to the public at large.
With only 262 days to go until the 2006 season, the Munich based car manufacturer bought the Swiss Sauber team, taking over all its team members and facilities, including the high tech wind tunnel. BMW immediately started hiring extra people and made plans for the expansion of the facilities. While the Sauber team did a good job with its team, BMW had much more money to spend in F1 and aims for the top spot in the FIA championship.
The team started off slowly but aerodynamic development work, which increased dramatically as second and later a third shift were added at the windtunnel at Hinwil, and the car became quicker and quicker. The first car with BMW livery was dubbed the BMW Sauber F1.06. The team ended 2006 with 36 points and 5th in the constructor's standings. One year later, the points tally rose to 101 points with the BMW Sauber F1.07. Thanks to the FIA that stripped McLaren of all its points following the "stepneygate" spy case, BMW ended up second behind world champions Ferrari.
2009 turned out to be a massive disappointment for BMW at a time they were hoping to fight for the title after improving 3 years in a row. Despite massive investments in their KERS system, the team hardly found a good balance for the car, and when after the first 6 races there were only 6 points in the bad, a major aerodynamic development program was started up, including ditching the KERS, even though updates to the system had already been introduced.
The team steadily improved, but just like Renault never managed to get back on top. It ended the season 6th in the standings with only 36 points after securing 135 the year before.
The disappointing results and massive investments led to BMW's withdrawal from Formula One. The Formula One Team Association swiftly replied with a statement, supporting the possibilities for the team to stay in F1.
Team founder Peter Sauber immediately stepped in to attempt to buy the team back from Sauber but failed to secure a deal. On 15 September 2009 it was announced that BMW had secured a buyer, Qadbak Investments Limited, but as the 13th and last entry into 2010, the deal fell apart. As BMW then saw no other options, it finally agreed to sell the team back to Peter Sauber for much less than it initially intended to. The team was subsequently granted an entry on 3 December.
|Car designation||Race years|
|BMW Sauber F1.06||2006|
|BMW Sauber F1.07||2007|
|BMW Sauber F1.08||2008|
|BMW Sauber F1.08B||2008|
|BMW Sauber F1.09||2009|
|BMW Sauber C29||2010|