Sauber working on team rescue deal
|By Simon Strang and Dieter Rencken||Saturday, August 1st 2009, 16:04 GMT|
Former team principal Peter Sauber is believed to be working alongside BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen to evaluate a rescue package for the BMW Sauber Formula 1 team, following the German manufacturer's decision to withdraw from the sport at the end of the season.
A spokesman for Sauber told AUTOSPORT that the 65-year-old Swiss was looking at all possibilities to 'achieve a positive outcome' for the team.
Sauber, who sold the team in 2005 to BMW following more than 25 years as a racing car constructor in F1 and sports prototypes, told a hastily convened press briefing in Switzerland that he had vowed to do all he could to save the jobs of his former employees.
"I will do everything humanly possible," Sauber was quoted on Bild's website as saying. "I can't do wonders and I certainly do not want to be team boss on the pitwall again.
"The problem is that time is short and we need to find a solution quickly."
Citing a similar situation to the one faced by Honda, where Ross Brawn and Nick Fry brought together a financial deal to safe-keep what became the Brawn GP team, Sauber said the final decision remained with BMW's board of directors.
"I've told all my people that I will use all my contacts, but I can't guarantee anything. I am an advisor to BMW but ultimately only they can decide how to drive it forward."
Sauber told the press conference that offers of investment had already been received for a potential rescue package and that he had forwarded these to BMW.
"The best solution would be a Ross Brawn-type solution at Honda," he said. "You need at least ten years to amass a team which can produce a F1 car to the level required and if we let this team fall apart the chances are that Switzerland will never again have such an opportunity."
Sauber, who retains a 20 per cent shareholding in the team, remained confident a solution could be found to keep the Hinwil-based squad in F1, adding: "I must add that in my 17 years in F1 I have solved bigger problems."