This week contained the "bitterest day" in Peter Sauber's long career in motor racing, which dates back to his Swiss hillclimb title of 1970.

This week contained the "bitterest day" in Peter Sauber's long career in motor racing, which dates back to his Swiss hillclimb title of 1970.

The 65-year-old sold his Hinwil based formula one team to BMW at the end of 2005, but barely four years later, the German car manufacturer last week announced it is pulling out of the sport.

Sauber, still a 20 per cent shareholder, and team boss Mario Theissen, have spent the past days trying to convince the BMW board that it should approve a Brawn/Honda-style management takeover.

On Wednesday, however, the deadline to sign the new Concorde Agreement expired, leaving Peter Sauber to decry the "far too high" demands of BMW.

"I am incredibly disappointed and disconsolate," he is quoted as saying by the Independent newspaper. "For me this is the bitterest day in my 40-year career in motor sport. It is also a devastating setback for the team."

Sauber said signing the Concorde in BMW's wake would have guaranteed "payments worth millions" and "secured the future of the team".

Rescue efforts will now continue, also with the support of the FOTA alliance, but with the immense setback of no longer having an entry to the world championship beyond November's Abu Dhabi finale.

The Swiss newspaper Blick reports that the next deadline is the end of September, beyond which BMW's support for the hundreds of staff at Hinwil is in doubt.

 

Be part of something big