The BMW Sauber team says it still does not know if it will get a place on the Formula 1 grid next year.
The Switzerland-based outfit was beaten to the final slot on the grid by Lotus in the immediate aftermath of parent company BMW choosing to pull out of the sport. Although rival Toyota's decision to quit F1 has now opened up an available place, BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen says that there is still no news from the FIA about what it plans to do.
"The situation has not changed," said Theissen about his team's position. "The team still does not have a grid slot. We expect to get one, but it is not done yet. Obviously the delay makes it difficult for negotiations with drivers and sponsors."
The FIA was angry that Toyota pulled out of F1 just months after signing the Concorde Agreement that committed it to the sport until 2012. It has asked for clarification from the Japanese manufacturer about its legal position relating to that commitment – and, until that is forthcoming, the governing body cannot sort out what happens with the 13th slot. There remains the possibility that Toyota could face a major fine for quitting the championship.
Theissen has also made it clear that he will not sort out his own personal future until the Sauber team situation is cleared up. There have been suggestions that he could quit his role at BMW to take up a role at whatever becomes of the Sauber team. "I will decide on it [his future] when the new team is safe and everything is sorted," he said.