Sauber granted F1 grid place

SAUBER have been granted a place on the Formula One grid for the 2010 season.

The decision by motor sport’s world governing body, the FIA, comes after Peter Sauber agreed a deal with BMW last week to take over the team.

After the German manufacturing giant announced their withdrawal from F1 in the summer, they initially signed a contract with Qadbak Investments Ltd. However, that was shelved in favour of the team returning to the hands of 66-year-old Swiss Sauber who ran his own team for 13 years prior to selling 80% of his company to BMW in 2005.

With the team now in safe hands,although Sauber is in the process of trimming the workforce down to 250 employees from 388 as per the takeover agreement, the FIA have moved swiftly to grant them entry for next season.

Meanwhile, Renault are understood to be again debating their future in F1. A month ago the French manufacturing giant held a board meeting to discuss whether to continue in the sport, that coming hours after Toyota confirmed they were pulling out with immediate effect.

At the time Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn called for patience, insisting a decision would be made before the end of the year.

In a recent interview Ghosn questioned Renault’s involvement in F1 at a time when Honda, BMW and Toyota have pulled out of the sport in the last 12 months. The situation would appear to be drawing to a close, with rumours rife David Richards’ Prodrive organisation are poised to acquire Renault’s F1 team.

Renault’s withdrawal would not be lock, stock and barrel as it is believed they would continue to supply engines through to the end of the 2012 season. Part of the deal with Prodrive would see the Banbury-based company use Renault engines.

Former BAR team principal Richards has twice tried to return to F1 with his own team in recent years.

Richards was due to enter Prodrive as a customer team in 2008 using a McLaren chassis and Mercedes engine, only to be thwarted on that occasion.

Earlier this year Prodrive appeared set for one of the three new places on the grid for 2010, but their reluctance to use Cosworth engines after agreeing a deal with Mercedes apparently cost them dear.


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