April 9, 2014
BMW pondering a return to F1 as an engine manufacturer?
BMW still holds the record for the most powerful engine every fielded in F1, 1430 hp out of 1500cc in qualifying (i.e. it will blow up after three laps) trim in the late 80s. But the Bavarian's second try at F1 as a race team ended rather badly, just gave up and quit in 2009.
The new hybrid engine formula has piqued the interest of more manufacturers. Honda will enter the battle in 2015, there are whispers Ford might revive Cosworth's stillborn design and now BMW is said to be mulling a return to Formula 1 as an engine builder.
The source is Giancarlo Minardi who points to a steady presence of Roundel connected engineers observing F1 testing and rumors from Germany of a May decision date in front of the BMW board of directors for a return, possibly as early as 2015. The project is being promoted by BMW's marketing arm via Dr. Steven Althus, Director of Brand Management.
That BMW would even consider a return to F1 would be a big coup for the proponents of the new regulations, and possibly a help for economically struggling teams.
Sauber is an obvious choice but what if Red Bull's relations with Renault go sour this season? The prospect of a Red Bull BMW must look quite tasty both in Munich and Salzburg.
Win one for Jean Todt over Mr. E in their continuing power struggle for control of the circus.