BMW scotches talk of F1 comeback

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BMW says there is no substance to comments made by Bernie Ecclestone suggesting they could be about to return to Formula One.

“I think they could come in… it makes sense for them to return,” said Ecclestone yesterday.

But BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt told Autosport: “I don’t know with whom Bernie spoke.”

He said the company was focused on racing in touring car and sports car series in which their race cars closely resemble the road going models:

“We orientated ourselves around that which our customers recognize as being BMW,” explained Marquardt. “There is no reason to alter this concept. It is currently running very well.”

Ecclestone drew a comparison between BMW and Honda, who have been attracted back to Formula One by the new engine regulations which come into force next year.

But Marquardt said they do not interest BMW at present. “There are always good timing points at which to enter something.”

“For example, we chose the right moment to make our entry into DTM because new regulations were on their way.”

“Now F1 has new engine regulations. That suits Honda and has been noted. However, we have not reacted further.”

BMW left Formula One at the end of the 2009 season in which it finished sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Wickens tops final Road America practice

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Robert Wickens showed the way in final practice for Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, topping the speed charts with a quick time of 1:42.991, the only time below 1:43 during the session.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi, and Graham Rahal completed the top five.

The lone incident of the session came right at the end, when Zach Veach went for a spin exiting Bill Mitchell Bend (turn 13). However, Veach did not suffer any damage in the incident.

Times are below. Qualifying begins at 4:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. local time) and will air on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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