Indian Consortium to buy BMW/Sauber


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
According to the Times of India a Swiss based Indian funded consortium are interested in buying BMW and have put in a higher bid than Peter Sauber offered. The article also states the requirement for the investment would be to have an Indian driver in the team. Swiss national Neel Jani is mentioned as he has an Indian father.

There is also an interesting link at the bottom of this article entitled "Williams and Force India rejoin team association". So, with Williams back in FOTA is this the end of KERS?
Having an Indian driver purely because the team is owned by Indians is a mistake.

F1 is big (and expensive) business these days so teams should be trying to get the very best driver they can.
Brogan said:
Having an Indian driver purely because the team is owned by Indians is a mistake.

F1 is big (and expensive) business these days so teams should be trying to get the very best driver they can.

Pfffft I'm afraid Bernie disagrees with you (could that be because there is an Indian GP scheduled? I wonder what the gate receipts will be for that!)

Bernie Ecclestone says he is disappointed that Force India did not give its vacant seat to Indian GP2 driver Karun Chandhok.

Vijay Mallya's squad promoted reserve driver Tonio Liuzzi to the race drive made available by Giancarlo Fisichella's switch to Ferrari from Monza onwards. But Ecclestone believes the team should have picked Chandhok, who is in his third season of GP2.

The Formula 1 commercial rights holder is keen to get Chandhok on the grid to help build interest in the sport in India ahead of the nation's first grand prix in 2011.

"We need to get Karun in the Formula 1 car quickly," said Ecclestone, "and he has got the talent and the ability, so it's a case of somebody just getting on and doing it now."

Chandhok was a race winner in GP2 with iSport last season but has had a more difficult time with the Ocean team this year, with a third place at Silverstone his only podium finish to date.
I think this article slipped under the radar from last week.

This would be superb for me as it seems that Proton are proposing a full works backed entry rather than the psuedo use of the Lotus name by Litespeed. Other events have now overtaken this announcement including the news in this thread but it's still interesting even if it's highly unlikely to come off.
This isn't going to please Bernie LOL Mallya: No Indian driver good enough for F1

Vijay Mallya has poured cold water over India's hopes of seeing an Indian driver racing for his team next season, although he has offered Karun Chandhok a chance to prove himself in a simulator.

Mallya's arrival in Formula One, which came about when he purchased the Spyker team, rebranding it as 'Force India', sparked hope in his home country that it would be just a matter of time before an Indian driver was competing in Formula One.

However, Mallya fears that as yet the talent in India doesn't meet the standards needed at the highest level of motor racing.

"My job is to make sure that the team is successful. Whichever driver I need, that is completely my decision. I want someone to convince me and justify the drama about this Indian driver thing," Mallya told the Deccan Herald.

"The fact remains, right now no Indian driver is good enough for Formula One. Force India carries the hope of a billion and I too would love to have an Indian driver but he must be good enough.

"There is no rule, even though some people trying or propagate otherwise, that you have to have a driver of particular nationality. We need only the best drivers to get the maximum performance."
Pretty much what I said, just with more words :D
I thought it interesting at the weekend when Brundle caught hold of Bernie on the grid and asked him who he was backing for the race. As usual Bernie was his usual self but his response of "A team with an indian in it" or words to that effect was very telling. Brundle had to turn around afterwards and say that "he thought Bernie was talking about Force India"

Well done Vijay for saying what everyone else had been thinking though. Drivers for engines are bad enough (Yes Kazuki that's you!!) but Drivers for countries are even worse (Alex Young anyone?)
If a Swiss/Indian consortium buy into F1 though, I can nearly guarantee that Neel Jani will be given a test at least. He seems to do fairly well in A1GP and out of all the Indian (or partial Indian) drivers, he does seem to be streets ahead of the rest.. The only problem is that he is already 26..

Hopefully a team will only take on a driver if he is fast enough and not a liability (yes, you Kazuki..).
I think you may need to see Alex Yoong in a Lotus next year!

Bernie has noticed that he has failed to get a driver from Bahrain, Turkey, the UAE, Singapore, China or a competitive one from Malaysia and now needs an Indian.

But he doesn't necessarily need an Indian driver. If Force India can become to India what Ferrari is to Italy then they'll take the Indian support.

It doesn't matter to the tifosi who is in the red cars - be they Finnish, Brazilian, German, British, French, Austrian, Canadian... or maybe even Italian!

I wonder if the Malaysians will feel the same way about Lotus!
Speshal said:
28 cars on the grid? I thought Monaco only had 26 pit boxes?
They do.

I mentioned this in the Lotus thread too.

<dons conspiracy hat>
If BMW had managed to do this deal a few weeks ago then it's highly likely that Lotus wouldn't have got a place.
Was this all part of some big plan to get 28 cars on the grid?
Seems a bit fishy that they announce the deal on the same day
<removes conspiracy hat>
I think they should do that, it'd be brilliant! A proper S/F straight with pitboxes and an overtaking opportunity at Monaco! Brilliant!

If they want 28 cars, does this mean that the Monaco GP's days are numbered. They've already got a replacement for Monaco which ticks all the boxes:

  • Street circuit
  • Boring racing
  • Plenty of armco
  • A unique feature not seen at any other GP track
  • Place for luxury yachts
  • Hot climate
  • Loved by Bernie

Yes, the Monaco GP will be replaced by Valencia.

I don't like Monaco, but it be better than Valencia! Vive Sauber!
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