BMW Confirm Sauber Buyout

German carmaker BMW have purchased the Sauber Formula One team, it was announced in a press conference today

BMW Confirm Sauber Buyout

The announcement ends months of speculation over the future involvement of BMW in the sports.

BMW is acquiring shares from Peter Sauber and will successively take over the shares held by Credit Suisse by the end of 2008. Peter Sauber will continue to hold some of his shares and will assist BMW as an adviser.

They said they would like to continue to provide engines to the Williams team, whom they have supplied engines to since returning to Formula One in 2000. Sauber's engines are currently supplied by Ferrari.

The relationship between BMW and the former World Champions has deteriorated in recent months with the German car maker frustrated by Williams's lack of success on the track.

Williams co-owner Patrick Head recently criticised BMW for airing their grievances in public and not sharing the blame for poor race results. Australian driver Mark Webber said this month that the speculation about BMW's plans had clearly destabilised the team.

"Regrettably, sadly, the relationship has been just too hostile for too long," said team boss Frank Williams on June 10. "It makes life very difficult. It does not compare well with (previous) Renault or Honda relationships, which we regret."

Williams raced with Renault engines from 1989 to 1997 when they won five constructors' championships and four drivers' titles. They also won two constructors' crowns and one Drivers' Championship with Honda between 1983 and 1987.

Sauber made their Formula One debut in 1993.

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