BMW to quit Formula One after the 2009 season

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As had been rumoured, the BMW Group will leave Formula One after the current season is over. Their racing effort only lasted four seasons, with a best of second place in the constructors championship. The German team now leaves both race drivers, Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld, as free agents for 2010. And not to mention test and reserve driver Chrisitan Klein.

Dr. Norbert Reithofer, BMW board chairman , said, "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 1 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 1 racing. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mario Theissen and his team for this."

Mario Theissen, BMW director of motor, said, "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 1 racing."

Dr. Klaus Draeger, BMW director of development, added, "It only took us three years to establish ourselves as a top team. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet expectations in the current season. Nevertheless, our ten years of Formula 1 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."

Source: BMW Sauber