After Japanese car giant Honda, German manufacturer BMW is all set to become the second team to quit the Formula One circuit.
The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that BMW will soon announce its withdrawal from Formula One at the end of the current season. BMW's pull out could also prompt other car manufacturers like Renault and Toyota to take such decisions
World motorsports body FIA has been fearing this situation right from the day Honda quit in December due to the global financial downturn. BMW's exit will be a big blow for Bernie Ecclestone, the chief executive of Formula One Management.
Norbert Reithofer, the chairman of the BMW board, and Klaus Draeger, the director for development, and BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen are expected to make the announcement any time at its headquarters in Munich.
The Formula One management thought that all five remaining manufacturers would pledge themselves to the sport until 2012 by signing a new Concorde Agreement with CVC Capital Partners, the commercial rights holder, and the FIA, the sport's governing body.
Their World Motor Sport Council and "should be ready for signature" by the end of this week, subject to confirmation that a satisfactory inter-team cost-reduction agreement is in place, were assessing the latest draft of the document.
BMW is going through a frustrating season on the track. Last year, Polish driver Robert Kubica led the championship at the halfway stage before the team dropped away in the latter stages. This year, Kubica has just two points to his name after 10 races, with German teammate Nick Heidfeld not much better off with six points.
Kubica might try out his luck as a rally driver and can also get a chance to impress Ferrari as a replacement for injured driver Felipe Massa.