In July 2009, BMW announced that it would withdraw from Formula One racing at the end of the Season
BMW, an abbreviation for Bavarian Motor Works, is an independent motorcycle and car manufacturer based in Munich, Germany. The manufacturer is known world-wide for producing beautiful, up-market cars that are a pleasure to drive. BMW also acts as a parent company for MINI and Rolls-Royce. The company has been involved in motor sport ever since they created their first motorcycle. They have competed successfully in Formula One racing, Formula Two racing and Rally racing, amongst others.
Initially BMW supported existing Formula One teams such as Williams and McLaren. In 2005, BMW made the decision to leave Williams F1 and to purchase the Sauber F1 team which was founded by Peter Sauber in 1993. The team became known as BMW – Sauber F1 and although BMW is the owner, constructor and engine manufacturer for the team, they decided to leave the Sauber name as a gesture of goodwill to Peter Sauber who currently acts as a consultant for the team.
BMW started its involvement in motor vehicle racing in the 1940s. They initially used their 328 model to participate in F2 racing, using the sport as a stepping stone to F1 racing. They ran their own team until F2 racing was stopped periodically in 1955 and then switched to F1. Even though F2 was later revived, BMW decided not to get involved with this aspect of the sport again – that was until F2 regulations allowed 1600cc motors. Suddenly the idea of F2 racing became a lot more appealing and by the end of the 1960s, BMW had developed the ‘M12’ engine as well as their 269 chassis. They continued to enjoy great success through the 1970s and decided to get more involved in F1 in the 1980s.
In 1982, BMW raced their first turbocharged engine, the M12/13. It was a complete success and it took its first win and the Canadian Grand Prix. The following year the engine took four more wins and won the driver’s championship. By 1984, BMW was supplying quite a few F1 teams with their multiple-victory engines. Despite BMW’s withdrawal from the sport near the end of 1986, the engine continued to be in use until turbocharged motors were banned from the sport. Tody the BMW M12/13 Turbocharged 14 engine is still recognised as being the first F1 engine capable of a 1000hp racing trim. In 1997 BMW developed a partnership with the Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The partnership proved to be most successful and BMW went on to enjoy many wins with excellent drivers like Ralf Schumacher, Jenson Button and Pablo Montoya behind the wheel.
In 2005, disagreements between BMW and Williams resulted in a bad season and the decline of the partnership. BMW decided to purchase Sauber’s multi-million dollar research and development facility and take over the team. In 2006, the BMW-Sauber F1 team was born allowing BMW to exercise full control over their own team.
In December 2008, Honda announced that it would be withdrawing from F1 racing, citing financial pressure as a result of the global financial crisis as being the reason.
The Honda Motor Company Ltd, also known simply as Honda, is a Japanese corporation involved in the manufacture of engines and various modes of transportation. While the company is well known for its cars, motorcycles and F1 team, they also involved in the development and production of aeronautical and marine craft as well as robotics and even garden equipment. They are also rated as the largest engine-maker in the world with a production rate of 14 million internal combustion engineers a year. While the manufacturer is based in Tokyo, Japan, the Honda Formula One team has its headquarters in Brackley, Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom.
Honda has thus far enjoyed a long and prosperous period as a Formula One constructor. The company first entered the sport as a constructor in 1964 with Ronnie Bucknum as their driver. In 1965 the Honda F1 team enjoyed their first win at the Mexican Grand Prix at the hands of new team member Richie Ginther. The following year they won the Italian Grand Prix and dominated the French Formula Two championships only to suffer a year of loss in 1968. The death of a teammate coupled with bad sales in the United States resulted in Honda withdrawing from the sport for a while. In the early 1980s they returned to F2 in which they once again enjoyed much success. In 1983 the decision was made to return to Formula One Racing and in 1984 Honda partnered with the Williams team. The partnership proved to be most fruitful and the Williams cars, which were powered by Honda engines, went on to win six consecutive F1 Constructors Champions. The Williams F1 team went on to win again in 1986 and 1987 before Honda made the decision to switch to the McLaren team in 1988.
With the help of their new partners, McLaren went on to win the title in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. At this point, the company made the decision to withdraw from the sport with their related company, Mugen-Honda, continuing to keep the Honda name going strong in the sport until the end of the 1999 season. At the turn of the century, Honda once again entertained ideas of getting involved with F1 racing. They eventually returned to the sport as the official engine suppliers to the British American Racing team. By 2004, Honda had purchased a stake in the team and by the end of 2005, they bought the team and became a constructor. In 2006 Honda clinched a victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix with driver Jenson Button at the wheel.