Sauber to Keep BMW Nameplate for Now

Although Peter Sauber's team will use a Ferrari powertrain for the 2010 season of Formula One, that isn't to mean the “BMW” nameplate will disappear from the outfit's official designation for the year to come. The German manufacturer may have left the series at the end of 2009, but it's likely that its name will live on in F1, at least for now.

The issue was discussed by the very team owner of the Swiss outfit, who reckoned that his team is registered as BMW Sauber F1 Team on the FIA entry list for 2010. However, he did hint that he'll apply for a name change, only that he doesn't know when that will happen.

The team is currently called BMW Sauber F1 Team, because we registered ourselves as such with the FIA, and that's how we will line up. It is not decided at present when we will submit an application for a change of the name,” said Sauber, who already announced one race driver for the 2010 season in the person of Japanese newcomer Kamui Kobahashi.

Although the Swiss team will benefit from strong financial backing from Japanese company Panasonic – thanks to Kobayashi's inclusion in the 2010 lineup – Sauber cannot help it from feeling sorry for the loss of long-time partner Petronas. The Malaysian oil company decided to switch sponsorship at the end of 2009 and linked up with Mercedes GP, terminating their deal with Sauber.

We knew that Petronas wanted to be with an automobile manufacturer. I am disappointed but not surprised. It has no direct impact on the budget for 2010, but of course it hurts. More money is always better, although of course we will try to have a title sponsor,” added the Swiss team owner.

Petronas' signing a long-time deal with Mercedes GP was also seen as an act of betrayal by Lotus F1 Team, whose head of driver development Alex Yoong admitted his “shame” when hearing about the news.
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