Though negotiations are continuing with a view to saving BMW-Sauber from disappearing from the 2010 F1 starting grid altogether following the German manufacturer's announcement of withdrawal late last month, it appears more likely that another new team will instead be given the nod by governing body the FIA to fill the void – but who do you believe that team should be?
After Peter Sauber's offer to reclaim full control of what was once his own eponymously-named outfit was rejected by BMW – meaning the Munich and Hinwil-based concern subsequently missed the deadline for signing the new Concorde Agreement just days later, for which it will lose out on potentially millions of pounds of revenue next year should it find a saviour – FIA President Max Mosley re-opened the selection process for F1's 13th team next season.
Talks are understood to be ongoing between BMW and 20 per cent stakeholder Sauber, with rumours also linking former three-time world champion Nelson Piquet – father of recently-fired Renault ace Nelsinho Piquet – to a takeover bid. However, even if the squad is saved, having missed the Concorde deadline the new owner will now have to go up against the likes of Basque-based Epsilon Euskadi, David Richards' independent Prodrive operation, Formtech/Brabham, iconic British marque March and Litespeed GP, which would most likely campaign under the historic name of Lotus.
BMW becomes the first of the sport's manufacturers to head for the exit door since Honda at the end of last year, with the latter being rescued by an eleventh-hour management buy-out led by Ross Brawn. There are also fears about the long-term commitment of Renault and Toyota in particular.
So here's your chance to have your say. Who most deserves the 13th slot on the 2010 F1 grid? To vote, click here