Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Auf wiedersehen, goodbye // BMW confirm exit from Formula One at end of 2009

Published by Christine

BMW F1 press conference

BMW announced this morning that they will be pulling out of Formula 1 at the end of this season. There seems to be a combination of factors involved in this decision including "strategic realignment", "environmental compatability" and "future viability." For these I read: "we're not doing very well, we're not sure where F1 is going, and we're better off out of it." Perhaps I am just a big cynic.

The first thing that springs to mind with this announcement is that it hasn't had the same effect as Honda's shock withdrawal at the end of last year. Back then, we had to curtail a holiday to return and cover the story as we wanted to. Although we aren't on holiday right now, it's not having anything like the same impact.

Naturally, the big concern is the employees back at the factory, and to a lesser extent, the drivers left without a seat. At the moment it's unclear whether the team will be sold, or if they are closing completely. There's talk that FOTA are behind the team and will do whatever they can to save them, there are thoughts that the Sauber name could live on, and I've seen rumours about the unsuccessful 2010 teams eyeing a potential entry into the sport.

There seems to be a lot more options this time round than there were when Honda pulled the plug, but is that all it is? Has this rocked the F1 World in the same way? Is it because Honda were the first? Let's have a poll to see where BMW fall on the scale of shockability.

BMW Quitting. More or Less Shocking Than Honda?

  • More surprised

    39%
  • Less surprised

    38%
  • About the same

    14%
  • Not bothered either way

    9%

244 votes

To me, this announcement simply proves that if you plan something step by step and rigidly stick to that plan, it's not going to work out. Let us know what you think!