Swiss investors purchase BMW Sauber
The BMW Sauber F1 Team has been sold to a Swiss investment firm, Qadbak Investments Limited, ending the German car manufacturer’s search for a buyer for the team following its own withdrawal from Formula One at the end of 2009.
BMW Sauber described Qadbak as a “strong partner” and suggested the team may be known by its former name if it makes the grid in 2010. “BMW wishes Qadbak and the Sauber Team every success for the 2010 season and beyond.” A Swiss national, Lionel Fischer was named as the representative of the Qadbak organisation in the brief BMW statement. No financial details were revealed. Qadbak was described as a “Swiss-based foundation which represents the interests of certain Middle East and European based families.”
Qadbak’s money is believed to come from Qatar, though it is based in Switzerland. It is believed to have recently invested in English soccer club Notts County, though that transaction is shrouded in mystery.
BMW’s motorsport director Mario Theissen and former team owner Peter Sauber have been in negotiations for the last few weeks to try and secure the future of the team, after BMW announced in August that it was leaving the sport at the end of the year. Despite finishing second in last year’s world championship the team has struggled for form this season.
News of the deal safeguards the future of the majority of the team’s employees at its base in Hinwil, Switzerland, though its entry in next year’s Formula One world championship remains uncertain. Earlier on Tuesday the sport’s governing body, the FIA, revealed that what was the BMW-Sauber team is the first reserve – or 14th entry – for the 2010 championship. However the FIA added that it would be seeking agreement with existing entries to allow a 14th team, which, should the four new teams all make the grid, there will be 28 cars lining up next season. Doubts also remain about the continued participation in Formula One of the RenaultF1 team in the wake of allegations that it ordered its former driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash during last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.blog comments powered by Disqus
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