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Thursday, August 6, 2009

BMW Sauber misses the signing party

FOTA put pen to paper on the new Concorde Agreement Wednesday, but without BMW Sauber's signature as the future of the team remains up in the air.

"The Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) today welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations leading to the signing of the 2009 Concorde Agreement," FOTA said in a statement. "FOTA will support any initiative which would allow BMW-Sauber AG to reapply for full participation within the new Concorde Agreement."

Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix: Race

Peter Sauber launched a rescue bid in hopes of being able to sign the Concorde Agreement Wednesday, but BMW's asking price was prohibitive.

"Following the announcement by BMW that it will be pulling out of Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 season, I tried to launch a takeover and rescue of the team," Sauber said to AUTOSPORT. "However, the negotiations with BMW have failed because the demands were simply far too high for me. Consequently, I have been unable to sign the Concorde Agreement, which guarantees payments worth millions and would have secured the future of the team."

Sauber is still concentrating his efforts on saving the team, but called the failure to reach a deal the bitterest moment of his 40-year motorsport career.

BMW said it is still looking for a buyer, and will work with Sauber and other parties.

"Since the announcement on 29 July of our strategic realignment, we have done everything in our power to reach a rapid agreement on the sale of the team based at Hinwil,” ITV-F1 quotes Mario Theissen. “Regrettably, despite every effort, this has proved unsuccessful. The tight timeframe we faced simply did not allow us and the interested parties and investors enough time to find a solution for such a complex transaction."

Doubts over Schumacher's neck

Persistent rumors about neck strength continue to plague Michael Schumacher, and those concerns have been confirmed by his spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm.

"It is not sure yet the neck will hold and the comeback can be started," Kehm is quoted by the BBC.

The Ferrari champion injured his neck in a motorbike accident in the spring. He will await a routine medical exam before moving forward in his training.


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