Bernie Ecclestone believes BMW could make a return to F1 in the near future as Honda are doing.
Ecclestone told City AM newspaper he would be “surprised” if BMW did not revive their Formula One effort.
“I think they could come in,” he added. “The amount of money they spent was not significant in the grand scheme of things. It makes sense for them to return.”
BMW supplied engines to Ecclestone’s Brabham team from 1982 to 1987, during which time Nelson Piquet won the drivers’ championship.
The German manufacturer returned to F1 with Williams in 2000 but split with them after six years. They took over the Sauber team in 2006 and made rapid progress, winning the Canadian Grand Prix in 2008. BMW also gave Sebastian Vettel his F1 debut at Indianapolis in 2007, substituting for the injured Robert Kubica.
But the following season was a disaster and BMW quit the sport at the end of the year, handing control of their team back to Peter Sauber.
Since scrapping their F1 programme BMW has concentrated its efforts on road car-based competition. It entered Germany’s popular DTM touring car series last year and won the constructors’ championship at its first attempt while Bruno Spengler scooped the drivers’ title. BMW signed ex-Marussia F1 driver Timo Glock to its DTM team earlier this year.