The two subsidiaries of the Volkswagen group, Porsche and Audi, could soon join Formula 1, a spokesman for the German manufacturer told AFP on Thursday April 7, stating that « the management and the supervisory board of Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi have approved plans for the brands eventual entry into Formula 1. » “We thus have in principle the possibility of joining the championship from 2026,” added an Audi spokesperson. « No decision has been made yet, we are in the final phase of the study. »
Several F1 drivers, including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull), welcomed this « very exciting » news on Friday. « I think it’s really great to have new builders in the sport, especially when you see that there are a lot of teams that have the potential to be great teams, » said seven-time Lewis Hamilton. world champion, from Melbourne where he must participate in the Australian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen said he was « impatient to see what the future will bring to the teams » of F1.
Final decision not yet made
Same story from the side of the team bosses: « it’s excellent news for Formula 1 that two brands like these are considering entering Formula 1 », welcomed Christian Horner (Red Bull), in front of the press. The boss of Porsche, Oliver Blume, confirmed at the end of March the study of an entry in Formula 1, the press evoking « negotiations » with Red Bull. « A final decision has not yet been made, » said a spokeswoman for the brand.
Audi could for its part buy McLaren: the manufacturer is now offering some 650 million euros for the British team, against an initial offer of 450 million deemed too low by the target, the weekly Automobilwoche reported on Sunday. Other options would go through Sauber (present in F1 under the name of Alfa Romeo Sauber), Williams or a partnership with Aston Martin, according to the daily Handelsblatt.
Committed like the entire Volkswagen group to a vast electric shift, Audi and Porsche hope to take advantage of an entry into Formula 1 to display their « green » technologies and ambitions. Audi will only join the championship on « condition » that the regulations valid from 2026 « provide for extensive changes for a more sustainable sport », explained the spokeswoman on Thursday. « We are in contact with the FIA federation for this. » Audi boss Markus Duesmann is a big motor racing fan: before joining the Volkswagen group, he was responsible for engine development within the BMW F1 team.
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