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BMW denies Sauber buy-out

NEWS STORY
11/06/2005

A rumour swept F1 late on Friday, claiming that BMW had bought out Sauber, for $270m.

However, within hours, both sides were firmly denying the story, which by that time was being run by a number of websites and even BBC Radio.

Other than anything else, the 'agreed price' of $270m seems ludicrously high for the Swiss team, even if it does include its state-of-the-art wind-tunnel, which thus far in 2005 doesn't appear to be doing the business anyway.

It's known that (BMW Motorsport Director) Mario Theissen is pushing hard for the German manufacturer to run its own team, having met with the board of the company last week. It's understood that a decision will be made by the end of the month.

Asked if he thought the deal (with Sauber) would go ahead, Frank Williams told Reuters: "I don't know BMW's business, it's not my business, but I have been assured by Theissen the board will decide towards the end of this month whether they wish to proceed with the purchase of Sauber or not.

If BMW does buy Sauber, this would almost certainly mean WilliamsF1 looking for a new engine partner, even though the English team has several years of its contract with the German manufacturer remaining. The general consensus within the F1 paddock is that the Grove team would do a deal with Toyota, though Williams insists that the partnership with BMW is far from dead and buried.

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