Mario Theissen

Sauber’s takeover by the Qadbak group is apparently on the verge of collapse, according to the Swiss weekly newspaper Sonntagszeitung. The report claims that the main figure behind the consortium is Russell King, who has spent time in jail for insurance fraud and had assets frozen by the courts.

The newspaper reports that, contrary to speculation, Qadbak’s F1 investors are apparently not funded by shady wealthy Middle Eastern sources.

Just shady European ones, instead! He sounds exactly like the kind of dodgy entrepreneur F1 used to house! Remember Alex Schnaider and Prince Malik, anyone?

In the wake of BMW and Toyota’s withdrawals from Formula One, Sauber is still waiting to be given an official FIA entry to race in 2010.

The lack of real financing could explain the FIA’s hesitation in granting the team its 2010 entry, with even BMW’s legal department reportedly surprised to learn about King’s apparent inability to fund the project.

Reports in September said King attempted to found a Dubai-based F1 team some years ago, and that it was this failed foray that led to some existing teams’ concerns about Sauber’s Qadbak buyout.

The FIA is expected to publish the definitive 2010 entry list at the end of November.

The plot thickens!

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.