NOVEMBER 3, 2021
VW, Porsche, Audi seriously discussing F1
Reports the Volkswagen Group will definitely enter Formula 1 in 2026 are gaining in strength by the day.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said when asked about the VW rumours this week: "They'll be there in 2026, in my opinion.
"All the noises we are hearing point to that," he told Speed Week.
Indeed, VW brand Porsche's motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach has now admitted: "The value of Formula 1 in terms of marketing and PR is undisputed.
"We are looking at the topic seriously within the Group."
However, he insists that a final decision is not yet made - amid reports a key board meeting later in November will settle the matter.
VW's entry, with Audi also said to be interested in the new engine rules for 2026, hinges on some of the key details of the unconfirmed regulations.
"The budget cap is already a first step, but such a limit must also apply to the engines. That is under discussion," said Laudenbach.
"An entry only makes sense if there is a change in the regulations that means that all competitors can start on the same basis."
He denied, however, that talks with Red Bull are already well advanced.
"No, I haven't been to Salzburg or Hangar-7 lately," he smiled. "The package for Formula 1 has to fit in every detail."
Sport1 also quotes Laudenbach as saying: "You would need a partner, and the spectrum ranges from the delivery of engines to the purchase of an entire team.
"All variants are certainly under discussion. If you're trying to get in with a second or third-row team, it will take time and money to succeed.
"And if you have the chance to have a partner who is already in front, that will also be correspondingly costly. But if everything is right, I would personally say 'Come on, that's a super-interesting thing'."
Laudenbach also admits his colleagues at Audi are having similar discussions.
"Audi is also looking at it," he confirmed. "What sense would two brands make? With two, you might even save a little money."