While there seems to be a general consensus that 14 teams in Formula One is too many for the championship, McLaren Mercedes is keen to see the outgoing BMW Sauber team continue in the sport next season under its new owners.
BMW announced its exit from Formula One in the summer, but critically did not sign the Concorde Agreement before the new deal with Qadbak Investments was put into place. With just 13 teams permitted under the current rules, the
shady new owners are now relying on the existing teams to agree before they can be allowed to compete.
“We have a lot of sympathy,” explained McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. “The people who work at Hinwil – the Sauber facility in Switzerland – are a good group and have worked hard over the years and certainly McLaren would not want to do anything that would potentially jeopardise their ability to continue in the sport. One, because the people there deserve the opportunity to race and, two, it would be damaging to the sport – to lose a well [established] team such as them."
While Mario Theissen – the BMW motorsport director – has the support of McLaren, Williams has made clear that is against the addition of a 14th team. The FIA has said that they will “be consulting urgently” with the existing outfits to allow BMW Sauber to compete.
Here’s hoping common sense prevails!