At the unveil of the BMW M Hybrid V8, BMW M CEO Frank Van Meel and Head of BMW M Motorsport Andreas Roos ruled out the manufacturer’s return to Formula 1. Despite multiple automakers preparing to enter the Formula 1 circus – Audi, VW and potentially Porsche – BMW has no intention to follow suit at the moment. Andreas Roos, the head of BMW M Motorsport, told Motorsport-total.com that being absent from F1 was “not an issue for us” because BMW was “definitely not interested at the moment.” In 2026, new power unit regulations will be introduced to Formula 1. The new rules will give new manufacturers the chance to be competitive from the start.
“I think you also have to be realistic,” said Roos. “You have a very high investment in Formula 1, and until that comes back, you have to be very successful for a very long time. So we’re happy with the big bouquet of projects we currently have in motorsport.” BMW M CEO shared with us a similar statement. Van Meel says that the company always stood for innovation transfer from the track to the road. Therefore, Van Meel sees a more natural fit between the BMW M and Motorsport brands with the LMDh racing championship.
Focus on IMSA GTP
We pressed Van Meel on the marketing value that Formula 1 brings to automotive brands. The M boss says that while the company recognizes the marketing value and reach of Formula 1, “BMW M is not in motorsport for marketing purposes.” And according to BMW, this is why the M Hybrid V8 racing car fits better within the electrification strategy of the BMW brand moving forward. Van Meel says that the LMDh cars will use a variant of the V8 plug-in hybrid powertrain introduced recently by the BMW XM and likely to be used in the future BMW M5 G90. Therefore, BMW Motorsport will on the IMSA GTP.
BMW achieved eight Formula One victories from 1982 to 1985 with Brabham. In 1983, BMW won the driver’s championship with Nelson Piquet (Brabham BMW). The last win with the legendary turbo engine followed with Benetton in 1986. Ten victories were scored during the partnership with Williams (2000-2005). BMW had a total of 19 grand prix wins and 33 pole positions before the BMW Sauber F1 Team era. As a refresher, the collaboration between BMW and Sauber lasted between 2006 and 2009.