BMW are "certainly not interested" in entering Formula 1 for the new 2026 power unit regulations, despite other manufacturers being tempted to do so. The German marque withdrew at the end of 2009 in the global financial crash and have not returned to Grand Prix racing since - instead focusing on championships such as Formula E and the World Endurance Championship. For 2026, the likes of Audi and Porsche weighed up options, with the former signifying it will be entering while talks with Red Bull broke down for the latter at an advanced stage. Honda are also reportedly discussing whether to make yet another comeback as manufacturers flock to F1 to capitalise on the current surge in its popularity worldwide. BMW however will not be one of them with the Munich-based concern instead focusing on other motorsport projects.
BMW will not come back to F1 in 2026
Speaking to Motorsport-Total, BMW motorsport boss Andreas Roos citied cost reasons and the LMD-H projects as the major reasons why it would not be tempted back. "You have a very high investment in Formula 1, and until that comes back, you have to be very successful for a long time," Roos explained. "[We are] definitely not interested [in F1] at the moment [and] I think you also have to be very realistic. "We're happy with the big bouquet of projects we currently have in motorsport. "We are virtually already fully into electrification and the transformation to it. "LMD-H fits perfectly [into that] and not just in 2026 when Formula 1 goes in this direction. From that point of view, this is the right time for us to do LMD-H." BMW's LMD-H offering is to debut in 2023 in IMSA before entering the WEC a year later - where it will be among the challengers for overall victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The manufacturer's sole overall win at the Circuit de la Sarthe came in 1999 through Yannick Dalmas, Pierluigi Martini and Joachim Winkelhock in the V12 machine.
Mixed results in F1 for BMW
After the success in the 1980s with Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham team as engine supplier - two Drivers' titles for Nelson Piquet - BMW was unable to recapture that when it re-entered in 2000 as supplier to Williams. Although the V10 engine was the most powerful on the grid - the quality of the Williams cars was poor meaning the expected championship challenge never materialised. For 2006, BMW bought out the Sauber team to create BMW-Sauber as it created its own works operation. In 2007, it gave a certain Sebastian Vettel his debut as a 19-year-old in the United States, before capturing its sole Grand Prix win in its own right at the '08 Canadian Grand Prix through Robert Kubica. The pole, who led the championship after that race, felt a title challenge was possible but the BMW roadmap called for a full-on assault for 2009 after winning a race in '08. The 2009 car failed badly to deliver, with BMW withdrawing at season's end, selling the team back to Peter Sauber - and have not returned to F1 since.