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BMW quits F1 to focus on alternative drivetrains and sustainability

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.

BREAKING: BMW announces withdrawal from Formula One at end of 2009

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 effo

VIDEO: Nick Heidfeld breaks BMW Sauber F1 car while showing off

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