Sauber: BMW demanded too much

Peter Sauber has blamed BMW’s demands for his failure to complete a takeover of its ailing Formula One team.

As reported earlier today, BMW had failed to sign the Concorde Agreement, citing a lack of time to find an adequate buyer as its reason.

However, Autosport has revealed that BMW’s valuation of the team was far higher than Sauber was willing to pay.

Sauber, who brought his successful Sportscar team into Formula 1 in 1993 and retained a 20 percent stake after it was bought by BMW in 2005, said that had a deal been completed, then he would have been able to sign the Concorde Agreement before the Wednesday deadline.

If a takeover had been completed before the deadline, the team would have been guaranteed a share of the sport’s revenue for the next three years.

“Following the announcement by BMW that it will be pulling out of Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 season, I tried to launch a takeover and rescue of the team,” Sauber told Autosport.

“However, the negotiations with BMW have failed because the demands were simply far too high for me. Consequently, I have been unable to sign the Concorde Agreement, which guarantees payments worth millions and would have secured the future of the team.”

Sauber also expressed his sadness at the collapse of the German-Swiss team, vowing to do everything possible to secure a buyer.

“I am incredibly disappointed and disconsolate,” said Sauber. “For me this is the bitterest day in my 40-year career in motor sport. It is also a devastating setback for the team.

“Other solutions must now be sought. The responsibility for that lies in the hands of BMW. Needless to say, I am willing to help, as before.”