No sooner does BMW sell its share of the Sauber/F1 team to a Swiss fund representing Middle East and European families when Formula One announces that the 13th and final entry for the 2010 season has been awarded to the new Lotus team. Sauber will receive the 14th entry slot as a place holder for if another team pulls out for 2010 or if the field is expanded.
Talk about perfect timing…. or did F1 wait to say that Sauber had no slot until BMW sold their stake- without an entry slot BMW had almost no chance of selling the team as it could not compete. Another interesting move by F1.
Official Formula One Release:
Lotus confirmed for 2010 as FIA pushes for 14 teams
Following an intensive selection and due diligence process, the FIA has awarded the 13th entry in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship to the new Lotus team.
The FIA also received an impressive application from the BMW Sauber team. However, given that BMW has announced it will withdraw its support in 2010, there are still uncertainties regarding the future ownership of the team.
Nevertheless, the FIA considers that BMW Sauber’s application is of high quality and would constitute a competitive participant in the championship. As such, it has awarded BMW Sauber the ’14th place ‘ in the championship meaning that it will be entitled to fill any vacancy that arises on the 2010 grid.
In addition, the FIA believes that a good case can be made for expanding the grid to 14 teams. The FIA will be consulting urgently with the existing teams regarding the introduction of an appropriate rule change to expand the grid to 28 cars in time for the first Grand Prix in 2010.