For the past several years – even more in the case of McLaren – Germany's automakers have been known around the Formula One paddock by their association with two of the sport's most established racing teams. But for the 2010 season, both Mercedes-Benz and BMW have dissolved their partnerships with McLaren and Sauber, respectively. And yet, if you look down this year's roster, you'd swear the associations still stand.
It's anything but business as usual this year in Formula One, and this past week has been no exception, with one team scrambling to secure its future, another receiving the go-ahead to continue racing, and others re-submitting applications in the hope of joining the grid for next year.
The costs of competing in Formula One and trying to develop alternative power trains for its future production vehicles are proving to be too much for BMW. The German automaker has announced its intention to follow Honda and quit Formula One at the end of the current season. BMW has never said publicly how much it spends on its F1 involvement, but it is likely several hundred million dollars annually.
BMW's Board of Management met this week and voted to to wind down its Formula One team at the end the of the 2009 series after just four seasons. According to a statement from BMW, the resources that had been expended on the company's F1 program will instead be re-directed to the "development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability." That means we will likely be seeing a significant ramp-up of work on electrification and efforts like Project I which first spawned th
After using its KERS hybrid system on and off through the first half of the 2009 Formula One season, the BMW-Sauber team has decided enough is enough. The team will shelve the system through the remainder of the year while it focuses on aerodynamic development. In spite of the utter lack of success using the kinetic energy recovery systems this year, team boss Mario Theissen said the development process has been useful for the company's production hybrids. Lessons learned in developing the elect
After using its KERS hybrid system on and off through the first half of the 2009 Formula One season, the BMW-Sauber team has decided enough is enough. The team will shelve the system through the remainder of the year while it focuses on aerodynamic development. In spite of the utter lack of success using the kinetic energy recovery systems this year, team boss Mario Theissen said the development process has actually be useful for the company's production hybrids. Lessons learned in developing th
It must take guts to call out Ferrari, considering that the Italian marque has been a dominant force in both road-going supercars and in race-ready hardware. In fact, Ferrari managed to take home the coveted Constructors' Championship last year, ably defeating BMW, which finished in third position for the year. Regardless, BMW has some harsh words for Ferrari regarding the 2009 season and the use of the KERS energy-recovery hybrid drivetrain.
Not that BMW's Sauber F1 car has anything more than three letters in common with cars that bear the propeller logo on public streets, but who's going to argue with the opportunity to lay down the tools early? Hotshoe Nick Heidfeld recently treated a crowd of laborer's at BMW's Munich factory to the spectacle of a big-dollar race car being treated like a hand-me-down Reliant, complete with a body-damaging finale. The shriek of a high-strung F1 racer while it slides around doing lurid donuts is a
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