Audi and Porsche will join Formula 1, says Volkswagen chief Herbert Diess


There has been speculation for several months that the two brands were negotiating partnerships to enter the highest class of international motor racing; Porsche are expected to partner with Red Bull, while Audi has been linked to a deal with McLaren

Last Updated: 02/05/22 8:06pm


Craig Slater reveals that the Volkswagen group have made plans to join Formula One and what the new team may look like.

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Craig Slater reveals that the Volkswagen group have made plans to join Formula One and what the new team may look like.

Craig Slater reveals that the Volkswagen group have made plans to join Formula One and what the new team may look like.

Volkswagen’s premium brands Audi and Porsche will join Formula 1 after convincing the German auto-making group that the move will bring in more money than it will cost, VW chief executive Herbert Diess says.

Discussions by the board of directors about the two brands’ plans had created some divisions, said Diess on Monday at an event in Wolfsburg, where the German carmaker is headquartered.

But ultimately the brands, which next to VW’s China business are the group’s most important income suppliers, made the case that they would pull in more money for Wolfsburg with a Formula 1 commitment than without one, according to Diess.

“You just run out of arguments,” he said.

Audi has been linked to a deal with McLaren

Audi has been linked to a deal with McLaren

There has been speculation for several months that the two brands were negotiating partnerships to enter the highest class of international motor racing, which for much of the last decade has been dominated by Volkswagen’s German rival Mercedes.

Diess, who said on Monday that Porsche’s preparations for entering Formula 1 were a little more concrete than Audi’s, also explained that the timing of the decision has been heavily impacted by the sport’s new engine regulations that will come in for the 2026 season.

“As Markus Duesman (Audi chairman) always tells me, you usually make up one second per season on a medium-sized race track simply by optimising details,” Diess added.

“But you can’t catch up on that when you join a new team: you need five or 10 years to be among the front runners. In other words, you can only get onboard if you have a major rule change.

“That’s coming now, and it will also come in the direction of 2026, when the engines will be electrified to a much greater extent, including with synthetic fuels. That means you need a new engine development and you need three or four years to develop a new engine.

“That means you can decide now to do Formula 1 – or then probably not again for 10 years. And our two premium brands think that’s the right thing to do, and are prioritising it.”

Volkswagen has worked with Red Bull in the World Rally Championship

Volkswagen has worked with Red Bull in the World Rally Championship

Volkswagen has not previously been involved with F1 but has worked with Red Bull in the world rally championship.

It is expected that Porsche will link up with Red Bull, who they have been linked with for several years and who have their own Powertrains Division focused on the 2026 changes.

Audi’s link-up is less clear. They were thought to be close to a deal with McLaren although both brands have denied reports, and German publication Auto Motor und Sport have reported that Sauber, Williams and Aston Martin are now more likely options.

The decision comes as Volkswagen prepares for a possible listing of Porsche AG in the fourth quarter of this year, though sources have said the entry into Formula 1 racing would only be likely to happen in a few years’ time.

The Formula 1 2022 season continues with the inaugural Miami Grand Prix this weekend, all live on Sky Sports F1. A trip Stateside means later starts, and the race starts at 8.30pm on Sunday night.





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