We’re a bit late on the draw here, but this (speculative) story has only really hit the German press thus far.
Germany’s major car magazine Auto Motor und Sport is reporting that the BMW Sauber team has put in an eleventh hour bid to be the 13th team on the 2010 F1 grid. The bidding was opened again for that spot after the BMW pullout, and the deadline for applications was this Monday night. Auto Motor und Sport say that the Hinwil-based team have put their name in the hat.
Prodrive, Epsilon Euskadi and Brabham are believed (the whole process hasn’t exactly been trasnparent, you’ll be shocked to hear) to be interested in the position, as well.
Therefore, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, it emerges that the team actually met the Monday (17 August) deadline imposed by the FIA to lodge an application for the thirteenth team entry.
The magazine also said simply closing the team is an option for BMW, unlike Honda, who handed over the now Brawn team for a symbolic 1 British pound in order to avoid a huge bill in staff redundancy payouts.
According to Swiss labour laws, however, BMW would reportedly not be similarly liable.
Auto Motor und Sport report that the bid for a place on the grid is on the assumption that the team will still exist in some form next year. However, the magazine has no news on negotiations themselves, merely opining that Peter Sauber remains the most likely buyer.
Quoting “various” Swiss news sources, the magazine suggests that BMW had asked 65 million euros (roughly 100 million dollars) for the team in the initial negotiations with Peter Sauber.
But did the BMW boss waggle his little finger close to his mouth as he dramatically announced the sum?