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Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Sauber will replace Toyota on 2010 F1 grid

Peter Sauber
Sauber's newly re-acquired team will be back on the grid next year

Sauber have been awarded the 13th and final slot on the Formula 1 grid next year in place of Toyota, which quit the sport at the end of the 2009 season.

The Swiss team applied for a place following BMW's decision to sell its team back to founder Peter Sauber provided they were given an entry.

The FIA said in a statement on Thursday it had accepted Sauber's application.

Meanwhile, further doubt has been cast on Renault's future following reports the company has decided to quit F1.

The French newspaper L'Equipe has reported that Renault president Carlos Ghosn has ordered his lieutenants to look at ways of stopping being a constructor and selling the team, while remaining as an engine supplier.

Ghosn is understood to have discussed the issue at a meeting of his heads of department on Thursday, and it is expected to feature again at a board meeting next week.


Renault said last month that it would make a decision on its F1 future by the end of the year.

Media reports have also suggested Renault was considering selling to British-based Prodrive.

"We cannot comment on the Renault situation, but it is well known that our intention is to get into F1," a Prodrive spokesman told Reuters news agency.

"We proved our credentials earlier this year when we had a strong business case for an entry, but having had an engine deal with Mercedes-Benz in place we were not willing to sacrifice our competitiveness."

If Renault pulls out, that would reduce the number of teams to 12 once Sauber completes the formalities of signing the Concorde Agreement, the secret document by which the sport is governed and which defines the relationship between the teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holders.

BMW Sauber lost their guaranteed place on the 2010 grid to Lotus because they failed to sign the Concorde Agreement in July.

But Toyota's decision to leave F1 earlier this month has opened up a space on the grid which has been been handed to the Swiss outfit.

Toyota pulled the plug on its F1 team in November after seven years competing in the sport, during which time they took part in 139 races and failed to record a single win.

Their decision to pull out made them the third manufacturer in 11 months to leave the championship, following in the footsteps of Honda and BMW.

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see also
BMW sells Sauber back to founder
27 Nov 09 |  Formula 1
Renault considers Formula 1 exit
04 Nov 09 |  Formula 1
Toyota withdraws from Formula 1
04 Nov 09 |  Formula 1

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