I recall seeing some speculation about McLaren and BMW over the last few weeks and if memory serves correctly, those were debunked by the team. The speculation and rumors seemed to be off the mark in my opinion as McLaren Automotive is not McLaren Racing and even with a powertrain project between the road car division and BMW may be an interesting opportunity, it doesn’t mean that Honda is on its way out of the racing division.
I was interested to see what Autosport said about BMW’s long-term view of Formula 1 now that it has new owners and they aren’t working with McLaren’s racing team.
“When we decided to pull out of Formula 1 in 2009 it was a long-term strategic decision of the company,” BMW told Autosport.
“We wanted to put some of the F1 resources into the research and development of alternative powertrain solutions – and so BMW did.
“We established ourselves as the leading premium car manufacturer in the field of electric mobility.
“We are watching the developments in the world of motorsport, but currently we have no plans to re-enter Formula 1.”
It is also known that BMW have a strong interest in the Formula E series as well as their GT racing program.
I did find the comment in the article by Lawrence Barretto of interest as I hadn’t read this before.
“Governing body the FIA hopes carmakers not currently involved in F1 can play a part in planned discussions to frame engine rules for beyond 2020, when the future of current engine formula will be up for discussion.”
I must have missed the FIA’s desire to seek other car manufacturers for a seat at the table to help define that future engine of the sport. I’m sure the new owners of F1 are interested in that fact as well as Ross Brawn who now heads up a technical side of the Liberty Media team.
This also bumped in to the very role Brawn is to play and last week’s commentary by former FIA president Max Mosley echoed my thoughts regarding Ross’s focus.
“He’ll be an enormous asset to them and that side [sporting] isn’t really what Liberty should be doing.
“Ross is outstanding so they made a good choice there.”
I’m still a little foggy on what the FIA and Liberty Media feel Ross’s role will be as far as helping define the future of F1 from a technical side and that’s most likely what Mosley’s comments are suggesting as well.
If the FIA are looking to carmakers to belly up to the table of F1 and help define the new engines, that seems to be a potential cost-spiral that I thought F1 wanted to avoid. It’s the very type of relationship that begat the current power unit as Mercedes and Renault were very strong forces in moving in that direction.
When you consider the hybrid power unit, it is intriguing that BMW left the sport in 2009 to focus on alternative powertrains. It makes you wonder why the F1 hybrid unit wasn’t appealing to them. An amazing piece of kit that is more alternative than anything they are running in other racing series save versus Formula E.
The article goes on to say that Toyota isn’t interested in F1 either and that makes sense due to their WEC LMP1 efforts…especially after last year’s heart-breaking loss at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
So no BMW, no Toyota and Honda as a supplier. You know what’s left right? More of those awful “Audi to join F1” rumors.
Hat Tip: Autosport