Sauber has been granted the final slot on the Formula 1 grid, the FIA has announced, bringing to an end months of uncertainty about the future of the team.
The Swiss-based outfit had been hanging in limbo since the summer following BMW's decision to pull out of F1. An original deal with financial services company Qadbak proved troublesome, especially because it came too late for the team to be guaranteed a place on the original 2010 grid – with the 13th slot having been handed to Lotus.
However, the post-season decision by Toyota to quit F1 handed Sauber a fresh chance to get back on the grid – and its hopes were further boosted when Peter Sauber (above) took over the outfit following the eventual collapse of the deal with Qadbak. With Toyota having relinquished its entry, the FIA confirmed on Thursday that Sauber's application to join the championship had been successful – meaning the team will be racing in F1 next year.
"The FIA has written to inform BMW Sauber AG that their application for an entry in the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship has been successful," said a statement issued by the FIA. "Subject to their signing the Concorde Agreement, BMW Sauber will be awarded the 13th entry in the Championship, taking the place of the departing Toyota team.
"The FIA has worked closely with the Commercial Rights Holder and the teams involved over recent weeks and is grateful for their support in achieving the best outcome for the sport."