Mike Stevens | May 26, 2009

BMW MOTORSPORT BOSS Dr Mario Theissen has plunged the company’s racing program into uncertainty after revealing the Bavarian manufacturer may reconsider its future in Formula One and the World Touring Car Championship.

The automaker has been left frustrated by a series of controversies which have marred the start of the WTCC and F1 seasons, forcing BMW to potentially review its commitment to both categories.

The BMW board approved of plans to continue its participation in Formula One earlier in the year, but Dr Theissen says the result of negotiations over the 2010 regulations could prompt the company to reassess its position.


“If the framework and the conditions change greatly that would be a reason for us to review the project,” he said.

Dr Theissen has previously expressed concerns over the proposed budget cap and the difficulties his team may have reducing its expenditure.

“In one go you cannot just evaporate by a factor of three. A moving path, for example over two or three years, would be possible,” he told the German press.

BMW has also been involved in a scrap with the FIA at WTCC level, after lodging a protest against rivals SEAT over a perceived breach of the technical regulations.


After struggling to compete with the Spanish manufacturer towards the end of last season, the FIA altered the rules to promote a level playing field, restricting the boost pressure on SEAT’s turbo-diesel powered entries.

But in the aftermath of the Marrakech round earlier this month, it was revealed SEAT had been granted dispensation to increase its boost level to combat atmospheric conditions during the first three rounds of the season, without notifying rival teams.

He told Autosport: “In my opinion the situation is not sustainable and we are presently examining our WTCC commitment very critically.

"We have always been in touring car racing in some form or other, and we will continue in that way. But we have a very broad base of customers so it doesn't necessarily have to be a works engagement.”

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