BMW explain why F1’s sustainability push is too late to make them interested

Henry Valantine
BMW logo on plain background.

The logo of German car manufacturer, BMW.

BMW motorsport boss Andreas Roos has confirmed they will not be looking at re-entering Formula 1 in 2026, given its slowness in moving to a more sustainable path.

The next generation of power unit will be moving to fully sustainable fuel and place more of a focus on the ERS [energy recovery system] to generate power, as part of the sport’s aim to go fully carbon neutral by 2030.

These new engines will still be capable of the 1000bhp which the current power units produce, and this move along with Formula 1’s increased popularity has already attracted both Audi and Ford to join the sport through Sauber and Red Bull respectively, along with Honda being on the entry list as a power unit supplier – though they do not currently have a customer team.

But BMW, who were involved in Formula 1 as an engine supplier with Williams in the early 2000s before combining with Sauber to have their own team until 2009, have not been swayed to make a return to the grid.

For Roos, head of BMW’s M Motorsport division, he explained that the technology Formula 1 is looking to implement is already on show for BMW in their efforts in endurance racing worldwide.

With that, they feel the company is in the right place with their motorsport portfolio, and do not need to re-enter Formula 1.

“When we’re honest, Formula 1 goes hybrid 2026, they are at the moment already but with a hybrid system which has no relevance at all,” Roos told Speedcafe.com.

“And so 2026, they go to a hybrid system which you already see in cars. But this happens 2026.

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“We do the IMSA championship already and the WEC next year on with a hybrid system, which has road relevance. So this is for us already, basically three years earlier.

“And this is why it’s at the moment, perfectly fitting to us, as I said, to our road cars.

“And then this is why, for us, to be honest Formula 1, the change is too late to go in this direction.

“It’s a similar story with sustainable fuel, which is already in use in sportscar racing but will only be introduced to F1 for 2026.

“It’s not a topic for us at all. There’s nothing really at the moment where we look really into Formula 1.”

BMW took one victory when they partnered with Sauber as a factory team, through Robert Kubica’s victory at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.