One has to feel sorry for Peter Sauber. The team that has been his life was sold to BMW. Peter kept 20% of the business but handed over complete control to the corporate folk down Munich way. He believed that they would look after the team, and more importantly, the people who make up the team. The people at Sauber are not your usual F1 types. Most of them speak Swiss-German and they are not going to take off and get a job in Bicester. If the BMW Sauber team closes down they will lose their jobs. Peter Sauber knows this and he has been doing everything he can in recent days to look after them. The problem is that BMW has not only pulled the plug on its F1 involvement but it wants money from a buyer. This is very unlikely to happen. Honda has to give its F1 team to Ross Brawn and his partners – and the Japanese firm had to hand over the budget for a year as well. BMW may think that the assets in Hinwil have a value, but running the team is so expensive that no-one wants to take it on. The bottom line is that BMW has an asset worth nothing. By the time they realise this it may be too late. The Concorde Agreement has been signed without BMW Sauber. No-one was willing or able to commit to three years in F1 without knowing how they were going to pay for it. BMW does not seem to care. It just wants out. Peter Sauber can hope that FOTA, the FIA and FOM might allow him to sign the Concorde Agreement if he can find the money, but that is a massive risk. Any one of the signatories could block that. Thus Peter must face up to the fact that unless there is a miracle the team is not going to be sold. That is a tragedy. Pulling out of F1 was enough of a slap in the face for the sport from BMW. Wiping out the team at the same time would be unforgiveable. The BMW board may want cash for the assets they paid for, but they are not going to get it in the current environment.
It is a tragedy, in the true sense of the word.