A new rumour suggests BMW is readying itself for a return to Formula 1 and it could be back as soon as next year. The source of the speculation is Minardi (yes, that Minardi) and on its website it quotes Gian Carlo Minardi:
…German rumour has it that a BMW Board of Directors has been fixed for the month of May to consider a coming back in F1 already for 2015. The promoter of this project is Steven Althaus, Director Brand Management BMW and Marketing Services BMW Group. A confirmation of BMW’s concrete will to evaluate future projects has been the continuous and steady presence of technicians, both in the pre-season testing and during the first races, gathering important information…
It would seem any return to F1 by BMW return would be in the role of engine supplier, rather than constructor. Despite the controversy over the sound of the new V6 power units, the marketing, research and potential sales benefits of this technology makes it the perfect time for car makers to consider F1. A relatively fuel efficient 1.6 litre turbo V6 hybrid has a lot more relevance to road cars than normally aspirated screaming V8s or V10s.
BMW quit F1 at the end of 2009 ending its ownership of the BMW Sauber team (2006–09), having previously supplied engines to Williams (2000–05). BMW’s best success as a constructor came via Robert Kubica’s solitary race victory in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.