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Sauber's 2010 championship entry secured 03 Dec 2009

Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Peter Sauber (SUI) BMW Sauber F1 Team Adviser.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 31 October 2009

The FIA confirmed on Thursday that BMW Sauber have been granted a slot on the 2010 grid - taking the place of the departing Toyota team - subject to them signing the Concorde Agreement that governs Formula One racing.

BMW announced earlier this year it was withdrawing from the sport at the end of 2009 and last week sold the team back to original founder Peter Sauber, having abandoned previous plans for it to be purchased by investment group Qadbak.

Throughout the sale process the team has had no confirmed entry for 2010, the 13th - and final - slot for next season having been awarded to the new Lotus team. But now, after Toyota's exit and months of uncertainty, the future of the Swiss squad, who made their F1 debut in 1993, looks assured.

A statement released by the FIA said: “The FIA has written to inform BMW Sauber AG that their application for an entry in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship has been successful. Subject to their signing the Concorde Agreement, BMW Sauber will be awarded the 13th entry in the Championship, taking the place of the departing Toyota team.

“The FIA has worked closely with the Commercial Rights Holder and the teams involved over recent weeks and is grateful for their support in achieving the best outcome for the sport.”

It means that 13 teams are expected to compete next season: McLaren, Mercedes (Brawn), Red Bull, Ferrari, Renault, Force India, Toro Rosso, Williams, Sauber, Lotus, Campos, Virgin Racing and the US F1 Team.

The FIA will publish an updated 2010 entry list in due course.