• Sauber

Theissen confirms F1 exit

ESPNF1 Staff
November 28, 2009 « Toyota may sell grid spot and rule out Sauber return | »
Mario Theissen will stay with BMW © Sutton Images

Mario Theissen will not return to the F1 paddock next season, after pledging his future to BMW.

Theissen, BMW's director of motorsport took charge of the BMW Sauber team in 2006, but his F1 future was in doubt after the withdrawal of the German manufacturer at the end of the 2009 season.

Theissen had previously hinted he may stay with the Swiss team, but as Sauber continue to wait to hear whether they will have a place on the 2010 grid, he confirmed that he would stay with BMW.

"I will also be responsible for the motor sport activities of BMW in the future," he told Swiss newspaper Blick.

BMW is expected to announce its 2010 motorsport programme shortly, with reports the manufacturer will branch into Le Mans.

"For me it is an end and a new era (for Sauber) begins," Theissen told a press conference at the Sauber's Swiss headquarters in Hinwil.