Sport's governing body says BMW Sauber F1 cannot change name until the season is over

The BMW name will remain in Formula One for the rest of this season.

Although BMW left the sport at the end of last season, new team owner Sauber continued using the BMW Sauber F1 name so it could collect the prize money BMW had received from its sixth place result in last year's constructors' championship table.

The team applied earlier in the season to change its name to reflect its new ownership, and stop running under the awkward BMW Sauber Ferrari moniker.

However, F1's governing body, the FIA, decided the official name change to Sauber F1 will not be allowed to happen until after the last race of 2010 in Abu Dhabi.

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25 June 2010

No news here. This has been known since before the start of the 2010 season.

25 June 2010

There must be more to this story than has been reported so far. Immediate mid-season name changes have been allowed in the past (Midland to Spyker comes to mind), and Honda was allowed to change its name to Brawn GP just before the 2009 season started. So why is Sauber forced to carry the BMW name until the end of this year?

It benefits no-one - Bernie would hate BMW getting any free exposure, BMW must hate being associated with a team which is struggling to beat the Lotus and Virgin newcomers, Sauber won't enjoy the shackles of the BMW association when seeking sponsorhip, Ferrari must not appreciate supplying a team known as BMW-Sauber, and the FIA looks somewhat stupid for allowing it all to happen. So there is obviously a good reason which has not yet been reported.

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