Audi and Porsche have been talking about Formula One for ages and it appears that the talk is finally being replaced by action. Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has confirmed that both will be entering F1 in the near future.
While the exact nature of their involvement hasn’t been explained, it’s assumed that Audi will be purchasing one of the existing teams while Porsche will become a purveyor of engines. Diess has only confirmed that the companies will be getting involved thus far.
The news came by way of Reuters after VW group held a virtual event in Wolfsburg, Germany. There, its CEO explained that Audi and Porsche will be expanding their racing repertoire by getting into the highest class of international open-wheel racing that exists. Here’s hoping they shake things up because the F1 series has been feeling relatively dull with the increased size of the cars making passing less prevalent. Then again, your author may just be fetishizing highlight reels from the 1980s where the vehicles were smaller and notoriously brutal on their respective pilots.
Audi is ready to offer around 500 million euros ($556.30 million) for British luxury sports carmaker McLaren as a means to enter, a source told Reuters in March, while Porsche intends to establish a long-term partnership with racing team Red Bull starting in several years’ time.
The decision comes as Volkswagen prepares for a possible listing of Porsche AG planned for the fourth quarter of this year, though sources have said the entry into Formula One racing would only be likely to happen in a few years’ time.
Based on Porsche’s prior relationship with Red Bull’s World Rally Championship (WRC) team, it’s been speculated that they might also pair up in F1 before any formal announcements. However, nothing’s been confirmed beyond the decision to get involved at all ruffling a few feathers on VW’s board, according to Herr Diess.
As for Audi, McLaren seems like the safe bet. The company has had a lot of financial troubles of late and recently decided to join Formula E when other teams (including Audi) were pulling out. McLaren CEO Zak Brown also spent a great deal of time in 2021 talking about how the financial strain of the last couple of years could result in a bunch of teams exiting the field.
Though everyone thought Haas would be leaving too and the team has basically told the world to kiss off, saying it would be the bigger entities that wouldn’t be able to compete with tighter spending limits and aerodynamic testing restrictions. Time will tell, but it’s clear as day that McLaren Racing has been having trouble managing downforce in 2022. The British team has been confessing to problems and losing ground this year whereas Haas is actually gaining time over the previous season.
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