BMW agrees to supply engines to Sauber

UPDATE According to Reuters, BMW are talking to both the Sauber and Red Bull Formula One teams about supplying them with an engine for 2006 but no deal has been done, the German carmaker said on Wednesday. "Nothing has been decided yet. We are talking to several teams," said motorsport director Mario Theissen. A spokesman confirmed Red Bull, the former Ford-owned Jaguar team bought by Austrian energy drink billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz in November, was one of them.

Frank Williams, whose team has had an exclusive partnership with BMW for the past five years, told reporters on Tuesday that Theissen had told him BMW had decided to go with Sauber as a second team. He said Williams had no problem with the decision. A Sauber spokesman said the team had been surprised by Williams' comments. "Our situation is completely unchanged," he said. "Peter Sauber is talking to several manufacturers about an engine supply for 2006 and there is no decision."

02/22/05 According to Autosport, Williams is set to lose its exclusive use of BMW powerplants from the start of next season, with the Grove-based team revealing on Tuesday that its German technical partner has decided to supply customer version of its engine to the Swiss Sauber team. It is not clear whether a final contract has been signed between Sauber and BMW, but the fact that Theissen has informed Williams of its plans appears to indicate that the deal will now be a formality.

It remains to be seen what sort of engines Ferrari gives to Sauber this year since they have gone against them and sided with BMW and the GPWC. Expect a lot of hand grenades.

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