The announcement that Honda will pull out of the F1 circuit has made the headlines in the past few days. There was some concern that other automakers will follow their steps, including BMW, but Dr. Klaus Draeger, Chief of Development, took the time to comment on this and reassure everyone that BMW is looking forward to the new season and that the Formula One project will continue.
“It is with regret that we learnt of Honda’s decision. It has no bearing on BMW’s involvement in Formula One.
Our F1 involvement is an integral part of the company strategy. There is no better platform than Formula One for demonstrating our brand values. BMW, moreover, makes targeted use of the Formula One project as a technology accelerator for series production.
With the BMW Sauber F1 Team, we have from the start focused on high efficiency and have achieved our successes with a compact and powerful team. The cost-benefit ratio is commensurately positive. The measures now proposed by FOTA for significant cost cuts starting as early as season 2009 are a further important contribution.”
Mercedes Benz has a similar stand. Norbert Haug, President of MB Motorsport, said the German marque’s involvement with the McLaren effort is financially sound and subsidised by team sponsors, but said cost-cutting is important.
“Over the next two years we must achieve cuts of at least 50 percent,” he said.
In my opinion, despite the reassurances, which sometimes are just “the right thing to say at the right moment”, the BMW involvement in Formula One will be closely connected to company’s financial situation in 2009. A continued decline in sales and revenue, will definitely have an impact on certain departments within BMW AG and the racing unit, might be just one of them.[Source: BMWF1blog ]