BMW Begins Work on Sauber Integration

BMW will invest more money in Sauber and has already begun work on integration with the newly bought team, sporting director Mario Theissen revealed on Thursday

BMW Begins Work on Sauber Integration

BMW bought out the Sauber team after strained relationship with their current partner team Williams has led the Munich-based carmaker to decide to pull the plug on the Williams-BMW partnership.

And with only a month gone since finalising the deal with team owner Peter Sauber, Theissen revealed work is already underway on integration of the Swiss-based team and the Munich-based company.

"We have started the co-operation already," Theissen said at a media dinner in Budapest last night. "We have a clear split between what we do this year, which is to clearly and totally focus on BMW-Williams, but on the other hand, we are focused on Sauber about the future.

"Next year's car-engine integration, and the integration of the team is the main challenge at the moment. We will provide the entire powertrain from Munich, and the car from Switzerland as today."

Theissen added that BMW's involvement will start by expanding the facilities, increasing the workforce - especially on the aero side - and 'blowing up' the budget at Sauber. "But when I say blow up, this doesn't mean we will throw money at the team," he warned.

"We know that Sauber so far have been very efficient, and we want to keep this efficiency. We are not aiming at becoming the biggest team in the paddock. It will remain an efficient operation in the future, but we need to invest more money, and not just in facilities, but also in the running operation of the team. That will happen already this year."

Theissen also confirmed that BMW will run a V8 engine in 2006 despite earlier suggestions that they might stick with a rev-limited V10.

"It'll be a V8," the German declared. "It's [already] running, it's been running on the dyno since the end of May, and we had of course tested the engine two weeks ago at Jerez in a Williams car."

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