The BMW Sauber team could be sporting a new livery next season if rumours that it is to add a major telecoms company to its roster of backers are true.

Reports in Swiss newspaper Blick suggest that Deutsche Telekom could be about to swap its sponsorship of one of the cycling world's leading, but most flawed, teams for a role in Formula One, with BMW Sauber the most obvious candidate for a partnership.

The company, which operates T-Mobile, recently ended its links with the pro cycling team which bore the brand name following a string of doping scandals, both within the outfit and the sport in general, and is now looking for an alternative marketing platform. With telecoms companies increasingly replacing tobacco brands as major players in F1 - note Vodafone at McLaren and Telefonica set for a return, possibly with Renault - a similar tie-up is seen as a priority for Deutsche Telekom, with BMW's German background making it a clear candidate for support.

Quite how the pink livery of T-Mobile - should that be the brand chosen - fits with the corporate white-and-blue of BMW remains to be seen, but Petronas ditched its traditional turquoise colour scheme to blend into the current livery. All should be revealed when BMW Sauber unveils its F1.08 in Munich on 14 January.



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