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F1 NEWS 

Theissen: Team has offers to consider

Mario TheissenBMW Sauber has several offers on the table from parties interested in saving the Formula 1 outfit, with evaluation of those bids due to analysed by team chiefs over the next few days.

The Hinwil-based team has taken its first step in trying to secure its future by officially re-entering next year's world championship before last Monday's deadline, even though details of a rescue package have not been finalised.

Although an offer from shareholder Peter Sauber to take over the outfit was recently rejected by BMW, the former F1 team principal is now working with BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen to try to secure the outfit's future.

Theissen said he was optimistic that a solution could be found, even though he acknowledged it would not be straightforward to come to a settlement.

"It's not easy but there are opportunities," he said in Valencia. "There are interested investors, apparently a wide spectrum from just an interested question up to a structured concept with a profound business plan. And we are currently evaluating these."

He added: "Fortunately I'm not working on my own, I am doing it together with Peter. He is trying very hard to use his connections and he is talking to people. We are doing it jointly.

"I cannot tell you anything about the on-going negotiations. As I have said, there are several interested parties and we are just about to evaluate the individual proposals."

Theissen has also dropped a hint that he could leave his position within BMW to take up a role with the new version of the team if a buyer is found.

"That's still open," he said about the suggestion. "I'm not thinking about it. The first priority is to secure the future of the team in my current role with the team. Then after the season we can see what will happen to me."

Theissen also denied any suggestion that the team's poor form this year was the catalyst for the decision by BMW to quit F1.

When asked how different the situation would have been if BMW Sauber was winning races, Theissen said: "I think not too much different because the underlying theme was that the board has said there was a shift in the corporate strategy.

"This is something which happens not from one day to another. It's a long-term issue. A continuous move. And then there are apparently other instant events which trigger such a decision and in this case it has been the obligation to sign up (to the Concorde Agreement) for three more years, under a certain environment and that was basically the culmination."

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