BMW Confirms Talks With Sauber

BMW Motorsport boss Mario Theissen has confirmed that talks have been held with Sauber to provide the team with an engine supply for 2006

BMW Confirms Talks With Sauber

Frank Williams, whose team are currently the sole partner of the German manufacturer, has previously stated that BMW will be supplying the Swiss team with engines next year. Theissen has not confirmed this deal, but has now opened up about the talks.

"One of the teams we are talking to is Sauber," he told Speed TV, "and today I would say the probability of supplying a second team next year is higher than 50 percent.

"Basically in the course of the year we are asked by everybody, and we've certainly spoken to Red Bull as well. The decision should be made by the end of June."

One potential question mark over the deal is the cost - Sauber have lost their main sponsor this year when Red Bull started their own team, and are known to be trying to save costs wherever possible.

When asked if BMW would supply a team for free Theissen replied: "No, but we would not earn money by doing it. "If you take this seriously you won't earn money by supplying a second team - it is at least as costly [on top of what] you are paid for it if you take it."

There have been suggestions that the deal could see the BMW logo on the car as part of the deal, as the company is unwilling to have their engine rebranded by a sponsor. This would free up funds from sponsor Petronas, who currently pay extensively to rebadge the engine, allowing more money to be spent on the car.

When asked what the most important aspect of the deal would be for BMW, Theissen replied: "It is about how the operations will fit each other, how the way of thinking, operating the team and running the engine fits, and if you are confident to have the right partner.

"A Formula One engine is a very complex thing - you can easily make it blow up with the wrong boundary conditions. It's not just about the stability of the engine itself, but very much about the integration into the car and the operation during the weekend, so you really have to be confident to have a partner who can do the job."

Sauber have suffered in the past by receiving older engines from supplier Ferrari, which meant that they were unable to compete on speed with the Italian team. BMW are unlikely to operate in this manner: "I would favor to do the same spec - I wouldn't favor doing two different engine programs at the same time.

"Basically all I can say is that we wouldn't do two different engines."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Sauber
Author David Cameron
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