Opposite Lock: Jealous, Much?

Featured Posts, Racing | April 18th, 2012 by 25
Brabham BMW BT52 shooting flames 750x500

You should be, BMW. Mercedes have triumphed in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Shanghai, and have trophies on the shelf to show for it – that …

You should be, BMW. Mercedes have triumphed in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Shanghai, and have trophies on the shelf to show for it – that is, if Norbert Haug is finished drinking champagne out of his constructor’s trophy (watch the race win ceremony…). From pole position to the final lap, Mercedes performed a flawless race weekend (save for Shumi’s race-ending wheel nut mishap), and Nico Rosberg drove a perfect race. To Mercedes and Nico, we say, congratulations on a hard-earned victory!

Mercedes-Benz had not won a Formula 1 race as a factory team since the Italian Grand Prix of 1955, held at the famous, high-speed Monza track. Juan Manuel Fangio piloted the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R Formula 1 car to win the high-speed race. As the story goes, Mercedes knew of the unique high-speed demands of Monza and hence altered the bodywork to reduce aero drag at this race. They also brought along a long-wheel base car, allowing better stability through high-speed corners. Track-specific aero packages were not the norm of the era as they are today, so clearly Mercedes-Benz were ahead of the times, and the result clearly showed – putting the Ferraris to shame.

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If history is due to repeat itself, then Mercedes will find themselves collecting a few more trophies this year, on the way to a world championship title. Fangio took the Formula 1 championship crown after dominating both the 1954 and 1955 world championships behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz. Clearly, Mercedes have plenty of rich motorsport history to live up to, and it’s about time they do so in the realm of Formula 1. The celebrations inside Stuttgart must be ongoing, and rightfully so.

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After a 55 year absence from the sport, Mercedes returned to the grid in 2010 after buying the Brawn team from Ross Brawn – wisely keeping him at the helm. No doubt Mercedes expected out-of-the-box wins considering the remarkable dominance of the Brawn cars which won the 2009 world championship, but as they often do, teething problems posed problems for the team, causing them to recede their performance advantage. Falling victim to the Red Bulls, Mclarens and Ferraris, which bullied their way to the top 3 spots, Mercedes were left off the final podium spot in 4th once the dust settled at the end of the championship.

2011 showed the team slipping further behind, securing fewer final points in the championship – though they managed to hold on to their 4th place constructor’s championship finish. Clearly, after investing in the right drivers (can you say, “Shumacher”?) and the right team of engineers and team leads, the results are starting to show. Based on their performance in China, I would be shocked if Mercedes did not collect at least one more race win this year. Many tip them to be title contenders, and with the much loved, hated and feared Michael Schumacher at the helm alongside Nico Rosberg, the all-German outfit could be on a war path.

BMW did not put up any fight in the Chinese Grand Prix because BMW did not contest the Shanghai Grand Prix on Sunday. The remnants of their team and factory, sold back to Peter Sauber in 2010, have been performing well however – with Sergio Perez placed 7th in the drivers’ championship after three races. Perez managed to nip at the heels of eventual race winner Fernando Alonso, securing a second place podium spot in his second-ever Formula 1 race – the Malaysian rains allowing his driving brilliance to shine through the machinery around him. I can’t help but picture a BMW roundel on the nose of that car, driving through the rain to the podium.

BMW will tell you several reasons why they left Formula 1 racing at the end of the 2009 season. All of them are rubbish, and at best a diversion from the real political and corporate realities that led to their withdrawal (in my humble opinion).

First off, BMW has rich, winning history in Formula 1. It’s lengthy but since we’re on the topic, let’s get into the bratwurst and potatoes of it. Back in 1980, BMW joined the F1 grid as an engine supplier, powering Brabham, Arrows and Benetton cars. It took two years for BMW to win while powering a Brabham chassis, but in 1982 they secured their first-ever Formula 1 victory at the Canadian Grand Prix (makes me feel all warm and fuzzy). Once they got their engine sorted in the Brabham, many wins followed.

Interestingly enough, Gordon Murray, the same man responsible for the all-conquering BMW-powered McLaren F1 road car, designed the Brabham-BMW BT52 Formula 1 car. By this point in the 1.5 liter turbocharged engine’s development, the mighty 4 cylinder was putting out as much as 1,400 hp in qualifying form. That is a specific power output of nearly 1,000 hp/liter, or in other words, complete insanity. Hell hath no fury as this 4 banger’s scorn, and it went on to power the BT52 to several wins in the 1983 season, eventually going on to secure the world championship with Nelson Piquet at the helm.

In 1987, Formula 1’s supremos Ecclestone and Mosley approve a rules change that saw the end of the turbocharged era. BMW decided to exit the series instead of developing an all-new F1 power plant from scratch. They left with their heads held high, successful and victorious in their position of engine supplier to some of the finest F1 teams of the times.

After a 12 year hiatus, BMW came back to the sport in 2000, again fulfilling the role of engine manufacturer, this time powering the Williams duo. In the next 5 years, BMW went on to secure 10 Grand Prix victories with Williams, as well as 17 pole positions – marking a successful era for both BMW and Williams in Formula 1. But this measure of success was not enough, and BMW were constantly rumored to be lamenting the Williams’ chassis and aero performance. The general word on the grid was that BMW were dissatisfied in the partnership, feeling that Frank Williams’ car did not measure up to the performance of their power plant.

Even during the era of Shumacher’s Ferrari dominance, the Williams-BMW cars were often touted to have the most horsepower on the grid. They also enjoyed the highest revving V10 engines of the time, and often managed the quickest trap speeds – frequently beating out the Ferrari’s and McLarens, but falling behind them in the all-important corners (this ‘aint no drag race!). In short, BMW knew they had a winning engine, but needed a winning car to put it in.

BMW’s grumblings eventually led to the end of their relationship with Frank Williams and in 2006, BMW bought out Peter Sauber’s Formula 1 outfit to become a full-fledged Formula 1 constructor. Fielding both engine and chassis, the BMW was a clean slate project. Never had I fallen more in love with Formula 1. Rooting for the clear underdog, following BMW’s advancement through the grid, proved a fascinating pass-time. Reading of their technical achievements was also grand, and I enjoyed watching their technical expertise advance in the pinnacle of motorsport.

Winter time was nearly as exciting as the racing season, because testing would hint towards the performance and technical advancement of the new car. In 2008, when I laid eyes on the BMW F108, I had wobbly knees below me. The BMW F108 is probably the most beautiful Formula 1 car of the modern era, just as the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R of 1955 was undeniably one of the most beautiful F1 cars of the early era. Its flowing lines and sharp creases look organic, in a space-ship kind of way. You can almost see the airflow passing over its body work. This car was as much art as racer. It was quick too, securing BMW’s first factory team pole position at the Grand Prix of Bahrain. Later in the year, the F108 secured two podium finishes, taking P2 at at the Malaysian and Monaco Grand Prix. But the F108 had more performance in it, and Polish Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica piloted it to victory in the Canadian Grand Prix of 2008 (again, that fuzzy feeling…). At this point in the year, Kubica was leading the drivers’ championship (!) but during the second half of the season BMW slipped up in the development race and lost ground, eventually finishing 4th overall – still an impressive achievement with valuable lessons learned.

Finally we reach 2009, BMW’s final year in Formula 1. The season started out, as it often does, with a heavy dose of political upheaval. Three teams, Brawn, Toyota and Williams, arrived at the first race of the championship in Australia with an aerodynamic appendage dubbed the “double diffuser.” The rules change for 2009 clearly outlined a much smaller rear diffuser with the intention of slowing the cars for safety reasons. If any team is to push the boundaries of what is technically allowed in the rule book, it’s Ferrari, with McLaren a close second – but tellingly, neither of these teams showed up with the clearly illegal device.

True, Brawn, Toyota and Williams had found a “loop hole” in the written rules, but their cars were clearly in contravention of the spirit and intention of the written rules (as well as the actual written rules, many would argue) and should have been deemed illegal. Unfortunately, their lawyers fought well, and after several races had transpired, the FIA ruled the “double diffuser” legal. This meant a desperate scramble by every other team to adopt a similar design at the rear of their car, gaining significant downforce (and nullifying the entire purpose of the rules change). BMW’s F109 was thus left with a serious disadvantage from the first race, and BMW were forced to essentially redesign the entire aero package of the car several races into the season. It was, in a word, a disaster.

Disastrous as it may have been, the F109 was a blindingly quick car. So quick was the F109, that even without the huge performance advantage of the double diffuser, it managed to carry Robert Kubica to a 4th place qualifying spot on the grid in Australia. I remember watching this race both on TV and on my computer, watching for official split time updates from all teams during the race. Kubica was terribly fast, moving into P3, and closing the gap to P2 in serious haste. Kubica was gaining tenths per sector – not lap, and by extrapolating the lap times it was clear that Kubica was in line for the race win. While chasing down second place (and getting quite close I might add) Sebastian Vettel tried to overtake Kubica, but made a very ugly attempt at a pass, going up the inside of a right-hander and torpedoing the BMW. I remember it like it happened yesterday. My heart dropped. The BMW was eliminated from the race. Vettel was later penalized with a 10-place grid penalty for causing this accident, but the damage had been done. As they say in motorsport, “That’s racing.”

Interestingly, Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director at the time, agreed with my in-race calculations in Australia and famously stated that had Vettel not caused the crash, Kubica was in line for a race win. It’s a shame that this win never materialized, as in my opinion, this single incident was instrumental in getting papers shifted to the wrong file in Munich. Had BMW secured their second race win in the first race of 2009, the argument for continued F1 involvement would have been much easier won. Of course, this factor was a drop in the bucket in the greater pool of political problems.

That BMW’s F109 could manage that kind of race pace without the advantage of a double-diffuser is remarkable and one of the most impressive technical achievements witnessed in modern F1. Responsible for an estimated 30 – 40 percent of total downforce, the diffuser is a key component of the modern F1 car. The BMW F109 had an incredibly trick aero package – and had the controversial double diffuser been ruled illegal in the spirit of the rules, BMW would have run circles around the competition from Ferrari, McLaren and most certainly Brawn – leaving them to catch up throughout the season, not the other way around. To this day, I firmly believe that had the FIA ruled the double diffuser illegal, BMW would have went on to secure the 2009 driver’s and constructor’s world championships. BMW would have been racing in China last Sunday.

As if the above was not nauseating enough, there was even more political fecal matter to deal with during the 2009 calendar year. In an effort to align Formula 1 with modern environmental and consumption realities, the FIA announced the introduction of hybrid drivetrains in Formula 1. The teams began testing systems throughout 2008, and first raced with them in 2009.

BMW had been the strongest advocate of the hybrid technology dubbed “KERS,” standing for “Kinetic Energy Regeneration System.” (Editor’s note: Two paths to energy storage were allowed, one chemical (using batteries) and one mechanical (using a flywheel – this system was picked up by Williams F1, and later by Porsche in their 911 GT3 Le Mans racer (apparently Porsche purchased most or all of their flywheel storage system tech from Williams))). Other teams were quick to jump on the KERS bandwagon, but once testing got underway the teams quickly realized that the rule book-limited 81 hp gain would be offset by the approximate 25 kg weight penalty (in ballast, not overall car weight) and every team except for BMW began to back-paddle. Having already been signed into the rules, KERS could not be dropped from the 2009 season unless every team mutually agreed to drop the technology. Every team except for one signed the petition to the FIA; the team that overruled the majority was BMW.

While BMW’s lone vote was enough to keep the hybrid technology for the 2009 season, the writing was on the wall, and based on the rules for the 2010 season (rendering KERS useless, not illegal, mind you), all teams abandoned the use of KERS. This, friends, gets us to the heart of the matter. The abandonment of KERS during the 2010 season was the real reason BMW left Formula 1. The legalization of the clearly illegal double diffuser was another important nail in the coffin. Vettel ramming the F109 out of contention from a 2009 race win in Australia left BMW Motorsport without a prayer when that fatal board meeting convened in the lofty offices of Munich. Plenty of angry German was spoken, and the decision was not unanimous – many within the company felt (and still feel) that leaving F1 was the wrong thing to do – but at the end of 2009, BMW withdrew from the pinnacle of motorsport.

It’s funny, the difference a year can make. After a KERSless 2010 season, the FIA and remaining Formula 1 teams recognized what BMW saw all along: the critical importance of relevant techology and environmentally friendly tech advancement in F1. As we all know, BMW are on a crusade of efficiency. Now more important to BMW than motorsport or performance driving, efficiency is shaping the way BMW cars consume, drive, and feel. When F1 turned its back on hybrid development, it nullified BMW’s interest in the sport, and it tarnished F1’s newly found “green” image. BMW wanted to distance itself from crude-oil sucking, shameless motorsport, and on top of this, they wanted to win in the series they participated in. Abandoning KERS topped with the legalization of the double diffuser was the double shot to the chest that brought BMW’s F1 team to an end. I lament their exit from the grid to this day. I feel like I had to pick a new team to cheer for – when the one I saw on the cusp of a championship walked away.

To the future of BMW in Formula 1.

KERS is now firmly back in Formula 1, and has been since 2011. The technology will soon be allowed to flourish in 2014, when the FIA will allow the systems to generate double the power – 160 hp instead of the 81 hp currently allowed. This will make the hybrid tech more influential in the overall performance of the cars, and hence more important to the sport.

On top of the development of KERS, a new engine spec is to be implemented in 2014. Moving from the current naturally aspirated 2.4 liter V8s, F1 will adopt turbocharged 1.6 liter V6s. BMW is well adept to the 1.6 liter engine displacement, and could easily leverage this connection in its marketing activities. We all know what the M stands for in BMW. And it’s clear from their involvement in Formula 1 during the ’80 and 2000s that BMW can produce an F1 engine to be reckoned with – never mind the brilliant chassis and aero design of late.

Rumor has it that BMW will be exiting ALMS as soon as the end of this season. They have entered DTM, which might become a sport with international appeal and viewership with races held in North America and Asia – but even if that materializes, it’s still only a 3 horse German race. It does not compare to the spectacle, grandeur, or technical advancement of Formula 1.

Moving into 2014, no form of top tier motorsport can claim to be as “green” as Formula 1. No other platform of motorsport can spur the level of hybrid tech development that F1 is capable of. And most important to a multi-national car company – no other venue of motorsport can capture the hearts and attention of so many million viewers across the world every race weekend. The marketing power of Formula 1 is untouchable. F1 is the undisputed pinnacle of motorsport, the ultimate place to showcase technical superiority to the world.

Mercedes-Benz are enjoying the spotlight, having captured a solid race win in China. If BMW aren’t jealous, they should check their pulse. In 2014, it’s time to rejoin the grid. I sincerely hope that somewhere in a dimly-lit Munich laboratory, a select group of BMW engineers are hard at work on a mighty, fire-breathing, flame-spitting 1.6 liter turbo-V6.

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25 responses to “Opposite Lock: Jealous, Much?”

  1. Manny Antunes says:

    Great read Shawn! I have a feeling when F1 goes to turbo charged 6 pot engines, BMW may peak it’s head back into F1.. Just my guess..

  2. Johnparke says:

    Do the 2014 F1 engines have to be a V-6? Or could BMW enter with an I6?

    Nice article! Very interesting and informative.

    • Manny Antunes says:

      For purposes of packaging, the V6 was the choice. 

      • He-46 says:

        Great article Shawn. Manny, Audi was approached to join Formula 1 for 2014, but they declined. So, the formula stayed with the V-6 otherwise we would see a 1.6 four cylinder formula as well.  This would have been ideal for BMWs new marketing plans, especially in North America.

    • He-46 says:

      John, hold on for the new M3 and if it is a V-6 twin turbo, a smaller displacement version of this would be ideal for the new Formula for 2014.

    • Brandon_airey says:

      UnfortunatelyV6 only. it’s so stupid. The rules should dictate displacement and if FI is legal. Let teams use their own cylinder configurations. It would make the sport far more interesting. They could also limit the gas tank size so efficiency becomes a key factor since there is no refueling. But what do I know.

      • bboothy says:

        Well considering you have to go a full Grad Prix on one tank of gas, your curb weight and aero cross section are both defined by your efficiency. As for the V6, if you take a look at Piquet’s championship year, only half the field ran turbo motors and they dominated 90% of the races. The stewards relaxing the regulations just leaves room for a loophole and a less competitive season IMO. 

  3. Matt Stokes says:

    Ignoring your obvious rampant love of, or bias towards F1, it’s an interesting timeline.

    But should BMW be jealous? No I don’t believe they should at all, Mercedes AMG F1 team may be “new”, but Mercedes as been supplying F1 engines for decades and Mercedes power has won countless Grand Prixs so far, and a number or world titles – there is no more reason to be jealous of them than any other F1 team right now…

    .. and I don’t believe BMW should be jealous of any of them.  *IF* BMW could raise a good business case for F1, I’m sure they would re-enter and would have a degree of success, but the fact is now, as it was when they quit, it is a huge drain on their revenues (which I might add are considerably less than that which Daimler Chryslers board of directors have to play with when they are signing the cheques for Ross Brawn).  And what return on that investment do they get?  Bragging rights, that is simply it.. BMW’s brand image is already one of the strongest according to past articles, they are already the largest premium automaker in the world, how much more can they realistically gain? The cost of the F1 budget? I doubt that very much – for comparison purposes look at the image of Porshce, Lamboghini and Audi given their abscence in F1… compared to that of, for instance, Renault who also have numerous F1 titles to their name.

    I regard myself as a motorsport fan and I would far rather see a redoubling of their efforts in GT categories, Endurance races, DTM, Touring Cars, WSBK and the Mini WRC program, than see them get misty eyed and regretful about F1.

    BMW needs Motorsport, but it does not need F1, and it’s proven that already.

  4. Awesome piece Shawn!
    You got me all riled up and ready to fight! I recall many moments that you’ve
    described and fondly remember that 2008 Canadian GP where Kubica took first
    place on the podium. To make it even sweeter, Heidfeld came in second which blew
    my mind. I remember going in to work the next day, still having a huge smile
    plastered all over my face. I was telling my co-workers about the race, people
    who know nothing of racing, trying to emphasize the awesome’ness that took place!

    Hindsight is 20/20 and
    for F1 and all the other teams to see the error of their ways with regards to
    KERS still pains me seeing as how BMW foresaw this and was right all along.
    Also, the incident between Vettel and Kubica, that one incident, that ONE race
    as you’ve pointed out carried so much weight and power with it. It’s quite
    infuriating. I’d love to see BMW back in F1. My team shirt hasn’t been worn in
    years and to see them back on the grid would just make the world a better place

  5. Giom says:

    I agree with you whole heartedly! May you be right… I would like nothing more than to see the BMW roundel lining up on the grid in 2014! If they don’t, I’m voting you for CEO of BMW AG!

  6. Gord says:

    “F1 is the undisputed pinnacle of motorsport, the ultimate place to showcase technical superiority to the world.”

    Perhaps in the 90s where they allowed active ride, traction control etc. but as of now any “innovation” in F1 seems mostly to be aero.

    • Matt Stokes says:

      Innovation and illegality in Formula 1 seem to go hand in hand.

      The rules stifle the technical innovation, and the ridiculous pretense that F1 could ever be “green”, or even that that is what people want, is so thin it’s unbelievable.  Formula1.com states that each team will travel over 100,000 miles per year between events and test sessions, DHL (F1’s logistics partner) states that it shifts hundreds of tonnes of cargo, by Air Sea, and Land, between each race… I’ve not done the maths, but I’m pretty sure even if F1 cars ran on Carbon Dioxide the impact on the environment is still a million miles from “green”.  If F1 want’s to go green, knock two flyaway races off the calender and start using Nitro’d 2000hp Twin Turbo V16 engines.

  7. Brandon_airey says:

    Yes they should rejoin. But only as an engine supplier. I also hope that Audi moves to F1 as well to capitalize on their knowledge gained from diesels in Le Mans.

    Sauber – Audi
    Williams – BMW
    Red Bull – Infiniti

    I would also really like Alfa Romeo to buy Torro Rosso. They could use Ferrari engines.

  8. LaMa says:

    I give you 3 reasons they quit :  money, money and money.
    simple as that.

  9. bboothy says:

    Brilliant! I bet Nico’s win stung, because BMW knew it could have been them… As sad as i am to say it, the reality is that BMW doesn’t need F1 anymore. 5 years as an engine supplier inspired the powerplants for the high-revving V10 M5, V8 M3 and I can only assume the S1000RR. I also believe the results of their Aero design exercise are trickling into the ///M cars, such as the 1M’s “air curtains.” It would be great fun to see them re-enter as a full-fledged constructor and swap paint with the Mercs and Ferraris, and I agree with the He-46 saying the V6 M3 is an encouraging development. Fingers crossed!

  10. Soessex says:

    Patent 7,931,107 B2 was recently issued. This is of a KERS system and
    incorporates an electrically excited component which results in the realization
    of an infinitely variable transmission (IVT), and not to be confused with a
    continuously variable transmission (CVT). While electrically energized, this
    electricity does not power the system as power alternately comes from available
    vehicle and flywheel kinetic resources.

    outline of Features and Benefits of this system is attached. After seeing Features and Benefits  you will find, after your own critique, that
    the system performs  better, is
    scalable,  is more efficient, is less in
    weight, is  less complicated, cost less
    to produce and own, and has a much more favorable payback regardless of market
    segment than any other concept. Incidentally, a second generation patent has
    been filed.

    patent truly resolves the long sought after IVT question. An uncomplicated IVT
    has long been elusive thus previously to now an uncomplicated yet workable KERS
    was not available. This Patent enables the realization of the maximum possible
    efficiency because of superior management of physical power transfer between, from
    and to, an automobile and a flywheel, respectively.

    system intelligently recovers energy from a moving vehicle, stores this energy
    in an energy accumulator, a flywheel, and then on demand feeds that energy back
    at any elected rate to help repower the vehicle as needed. Importantly, among
    other significant features, this technology enables maximum torque application
    even under stall conditions.

    machine intelligence comes via the IVT which in part resembles an electric
    motor except that both the exterior case (stator) and the interior rotor are
    each mounted on their own shafts and free to independently rotate. In the
    patent, this motor-like device is called a MODULATOR. (Note: Only the patent
    itself should be used as a source of specific information all other resources
    may be subject to inaccuracies.)

    of these shafts is resolved to the vehicle wheels through certain powertrain
    features, components, and devices while the second shaft is connected through a
    flywheel system including certain related features.

    electric motor-like component (Modulator) is better described as a special
    version of an EDDY CURRENT CLUTCH which functions, by way of explanation only,
    with characteristics similar to an eddy current dynamometer.

    dynamometer applications, the stator is fixed against rotation and only the
    rotor is shaft mounted and free to rotate.

    operation of these similar devices an applied voltage to a field winding causes
    magnetic forces to be created between the two parts, stator and rotor. These
    forces cause these two parts to be magnetically attracted to one another inducing
    them to rotate as one thereby producing a downstream torque output. Of course
    with the dynamometer, by design, this cannot happen but the rotational forces
    (torque) can be measured by instrumentation which is the purpose of that
    machine; but this is not the objective in the case of our system.

    part, the objective with our machine is to efficiently pass, free of induced
    friction, any desired level of torque across the two rotatable elements of the
    MODULATOR in either power flow direction with infinite controllability and
    without inducing shock or vibration to the system.

    with the dynamometer, this infinite control is accomplished by but a small voltage
    of low power to an electric field coil.

    this current does not power the flywheel or the vehicle it merely passively
    generates an infinitely variable magnetic field in accord with supplied voltage
    governed by user demand.

    when kinetic energy is supplied as torque to one side or the other, the torque
    generated across the MODULATOR and between the two kinetic masses is
    proportional to the induced magnetic field strength resulting from the managed control

    this technology the field strength can be managed with electric speed and
    infinite precision from or through zero output velocity in either power flow
    direction regardless of input velocity.

    let us know your questions and we will expand these areas.  Should there be interest in
    this technology please make contact with South Essex Engineering, contact
    information is shown above.

    Very truly

    Essex Engineering

  11. XC says:

    First of all, do not take me wrong. I am very aware where does BMW stand in the automotive panorama; technology, quality and financially wise. I have owned several BMWs and I know about their quality first hand. I had been a BMW fan for many many years when… But alas, the following are just my feelings…

    When BMW left F1 I felt betrayed. I might have understood their “reasons”, but then I can’t deny I felt they were acting like (!) quitters… What is worst, I started looking elsewhere for a new car when time came for replacing my aging BMW. I ended up buying a beautiful Alfa Romeo, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I love my car and it is simply gorgeous, and the name “Alfa Romeo” has such a great history and racing heritage that I actually feel proud of my choice of brand, even if the modern machines are not the fastest, most efficient or just “the best”. I’m now looking for two cars, a vintage Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider (that’s my dream) and a new Giulietta Quadriflogio Verde (for a daily driver). And I will keep my Brera.
    My point is that it was wrong from BMW to take the decision to quit based purely on financial reasons. People go nuts when they see a “beau gest” in motorsports (just see what happened with Checo Perez and Malaysia even if you don’t win. There is something about inner strenght and braveness in that. BMW won in image even if they actually didn’t win but a single race. People like to feel there is something “great” behind their modest daily commuters, and that is something that I suddenly lost when BMW left F1. 

    It was a sad day.

    • XC says:

      I’m sorry! I totally forgot to congratulate you Shawn, for a great write up. I completely agree with your views, and share your, er, feelings…

  12. Rolitto says:

    Amazing article!

    I’m trying to write down what I feel but I’m making too many mistakes as I’m overtaken by the sheer happiness and enthusiasm of those amazing 12 years of F1 just because of two BMW F1 cars on that grid.

    F1 was great at that time and even reached its peak during Montoya’s era, probably because he really drove the BMW F1 car to its limit and reached highest top speed, secured the most number of poles, etc… then by time, WilliamsF1 was so weak and slow in their program’s development, spoiled the party and wasted all that tremendous power that BMW engines possessed. I began to hate WilliamsF1 and wanted BMW to get into F1 as a sole team. Indeed that happened and I was in heaven. The joy didn’t last until the FIA began chaging rules more and more over the time, beginning with the engine freeze until KERS. That spoiled the show and cars which had a major advantage in Montoya’s era were left empty handed at that time. That spoiled the party once more. And then finally, more rules had to be changed and BMW was stripped out of its major advantage points. The FIA then decided to provide a standard ECU on all cars and limit the RPM. BMW was left with no choice other than to leave the sport. And I was WITH the decision, not against it. 

    Now that I miss back again those good old memories, I do feel that maybe, just maybe, BMW should reconsider entering F1 again.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This article was a definite great read, I would really hope to see BMW back in the grand daddy of racing sometime soon. I’m still rooting for the Sauber Team as it now counts with one of the up & coming stars and countrymen in Sergio Perez. I can only imagine what this kid would do in a BMW power plant, like you said a BMW emblem would be so nice in the front of that car, I have imagined it myself quite a few times already during races. I will most likely be at the race in Austin, TX and will have a surprise for the BMW formula one fan base.!

    Stay tuned!

    Owner of a 2000 528i Manual-with M pkg and a 2004 545i manual 4.4 v8 with all the options. Got it for my 30th this spring.

  14. Autoservisas Kaune says:

    Go Michael!!! You can do it better than half of them..

    Autoservisas Kaune

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