BMW motorsport chief Mario Theissen has confirmed that the BMW Sauber team will run with Ferrari engines in 2010, if the team secures a slot on the F1 grid under its new ownership.
BMW announced earlier this year that it was to quit the sport at the end of the season and has since agreed a deal with Qadbak Investments to take control of the Hinwil-based squad.
Currently, the team doesn't have a guaranteed place on the grid after the FIA elected to give the 13th slot on the grid to the Lotus team, with BMW Sauber as first reserve – although the governing body is working to get an agreement which would see the grid increased to 28 cars, thereby allowing the team onto the grid.
Despite the uncertainty over whether or not an entry will be secured, the team continues to work towards being in Bahrain for the season opener, with Theissen revealing that a deal had been done with Ferrari to provide engines.
“It will run Ferrari powertrains,” Theissen told reporters in Singapore, confirming news which many had expected, before switching focus to the mysterious backers who have saved the team. “We are very confident of being on the grid next year and the investor, apparently, is quite strong.
“He wants to continue with the team in a strong state, not just as also ran, which is an excellent prospective for the team. We couldn't really expect that. There is strong morale, the team is really positive, we have a good upgrade for the car here and we want to achieve something for the final four races.”
Theissen, who stated there was no concern about the takeover despite the fact that the identity of the new investors is shrouded in secrecy, added that his own future was still to be decided, with the possibility that he could stay involved with the programme even when BMW depart.
“My personal future is fully open and I will keep it open until the end of the season,” he said. “It wouldn't be helpful to mix up my own situation with all the efforts to secure the future of the team. I'm not concerned. There will be time later this year.”