BMW SAUBER'S CHANCES of returning to the Formula 1 grid next season appear to have fallen dramatically as reports suggest investment group Qadbak?s purchase of the team is on the verge of collapse.
While Qadbak was previously believed to have represented a league of middle-eastern families, Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung says the group is merely a front for convicted British fraudster Russell King.
The report claims the group has no financial support from wealthy benefactors and instead merely hopes to survive off the back of prize money BMW Sauber earned by finishing sixth in the constructor?s championship.
Concerns also exist over the company Qadbak claims has guaranteed its purchase of BMW Sauber, Bahrain Capital International.
This revelation has allegedly prompted BMW to reconsider the nature of the sale and is believed to be a key contributor to the FIA?s unwillingness to award Qadbak a place on the grid for next season.
BMW Sauber team boss Mario Theissen said the continuous series of delays has hampered his bid to resuscitate the team and secure vital sponsorship to ensure the future of the outfit?s hefty workforce.
He told Autosport: "The situation has not changed.The team still does not have a grid slot. We expect to get one, but it is not done yet. Obviously the delay makes it difficult for negotiations with drivers and sponsors."
Theissen?s future is also believed to be firmly intertwined with the fate of the team as the German is believed to be keen to remain in Formula 1 despite BMW?s exit and is prepared to quit his post as the company?s motorsport director.
The 57-year-old confirmed he will not make any decisions concerning his future until he is confident BMW Sauber?s handover to Qadbak has been completed.
"I will decide on it [his future] when the new team is safe and everything is sorted," he said.