How BMW's F1 dreams went up in smoke

How BMW's F1 dreams went up in smoke

BMW had a plan: to win the world championship in 2009. Instead it's announced its exit from Formula 1. Mark Hughes explains why

Look in the back of last week's AUTOSPORT and you'll see BMW recruitment ads for the Formula 1 team. That's how sudden the pull-out was. It's about the global meltdown and its catastrophic effects on the car industry, of course. But BMW Sauber's performance on track this year and the circumstances behind it must have made the decision a lot easier than it otherwise would have been.

For one of the iconic performance brands, the fact that the withdrawal comes after only limited success in more than a decade of trying is plain embarrassing at a corporate level. Other marques can get away with merely competing in F1, but not BMW. This is not how it was supposed to happen. BMW had a plan, one that had to be revised once or twice, but only in its timetable, not its final outcome. That was never in doubt.

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