We all probably expected this to be a quiet week. It all turned out a bit differently.
BMW decided to pull the plug on F1. They surprised not only the public but also their drivers who had no idea such an option was even on cards (at least that is what Heidefeld, Kubica and Klien said). The focus of BMW debates is now shifting from “Why they decided to quit ?” to “What is next ?”
What a bizzare day in F1 this was. It started with BMW pulling out, it ends with news that Michael Schumacher is coming back.
Ferrari has confirmed that Michael Schumacher will replace Felipe Massa in Valencia. Hm, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen as team mates …
“The most important thing first: thanks God, all news concerning Felipe are positive. I wish him all the best again.
“I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe.
“Though it is true that the chapter Formula 1 has been closed for me since long and completely, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge.” – Michael Schumacher
Obviously he forgot to tell his manager who was only a day or so ago 200% sure Schumacher would not jump into Massa’s seat …
Mario Theissen distancing himself ?
There have been speculations about more manufacturers following Honda out of F1 but the teams talked about were Toyota and Renault. The sudden (?) decision of BMW to end its involvement in Formula One came as a surprise or a bit of a shock. So why have they decided to quit and why so suddenly ?
BMW to exit F1
About eight months after Honda pulled the plug on Formula One another manufacturer announced its F1 exit. Here is the full news as published by BMW short while ago:
The BMW Group will not continue its Formula One campaign after the end of the 2009 season. Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability. BMW will continue to be actively involved in other motor sports series. The landmark decision to restructure BMW Motorsport’s activities was made at the Board of Management’s meeting yesterday.
BMW has called an emergency press conference for Wednesday. Dr. Norbert Reithofer, the chairman of the BMW board, Dr. Klaus Draeger, the director for development, and Mario Theissen, BMW motorsport director will be present. There hasn’t been any confirmation what will the press conference be about other than we can expect imporatant news. The fact that BMW is sending its top brass to attend indeed suggests that we are in for some big news.
We will see more when the BMW top guns assemble in Munich later today and tell us what is on their mind. But the expectations are that BMW is about to follow Honda and pull out from Formula One …