BMW: F1 has a Strong Future

Formula One has a strong future and BMW are committed to it, board member Burkhard Goeschel said on Wednesday after the carmaker announced it was buying the Sauber team

"This decision is a strong, long-term affirmation of BMW's commitment to Formula One," he said in a statement.

"We anticipate that Formula One will emerge strengthened from the current restructuring phase and that it will continue to represent the top echelon of motor sport for the future as well," he added.

Formula One is going through a stormy period, with manufacturers threatening their own series from the end of 2007 when the existing commercial agreement expires.

The sport has been split into two camps, with champions Ferrari breaking ranks with other carmakers and agreeing unilaterally with commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA to extend the agreement to 2012.

Ecclestone is himself under pressure from shareholding banks who control 75 percent of Formula One's holding company and want to realise their assets.

The governing FIA is also planning rule changes from 2008 that it says would make the sport cheaper and more accessible to independent teams.

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