BMW has agreed to sell its Formula 1 team back to Peter Sauber, on condition that the team receives an entry for 2010, after announcing its original sale to Qadbak Investment Ltd. will not be completed.
The German car maker announced earlier this year it was pulling out of Formula 1, but said it had agreed to a deal with Swiss financial investment company Qadbak, which was to run the team in the future. However, BMW said on Friday that the Qadbak deal would not be completed. Instead, the car maker has sold the team back to Peter Sauber, who founded the team in 1993 and ran it until BMW bought it four years ago.
"We are very happy with this solution," said Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG. "This fulfills the most important requirement for a successful future for the team.
"Our relationship with Peter Sauber has always been excellent and marked by absolute respect. We would like to express our thanks to Peter and the whole team for the excellent cooperation during the recent four years."
Sauber added: "I am very relieved that we have found this solution. It means we can keep the Hinwil location and the majority of workplaces. I am convinced that the new team has a very good future in Formula 1, whose current transformation with new framework conditions will benefit the private teams.
"Our staff here is highly competent and motivated, and I look forward to taking on this new challenge together with them. I would like to thank BMW for four shared years that have, in the main, been very successful."
A further agreement with Sauber proposes personnel cuts from the current level of 388 to around 250 employees. The future of the team in Formula 1 remains unclear, however, as the FIA is yet to confirm its grid slot for 2010.