At the end of last year, many rumors were still circulating about a possible entry into F1 by Audi or Porsche. Despite some announcement rumors, it’s been quiet around these brands for quite some time now. Volkswagen, the umbrella organization of these brands, is it too late to enter?
New teams in F1
At the end of last year, the FIA indicated in a short slogan that it wanted to become more sustainable, simpler and cheaper with F1. In particular, being more durable was an important requirement for Volkswagen to consider entering F1 with either Porsche or Audi. Still, it was quiet for a while around the brand’s entry into motorsport’s premier class. Auto Motor and Sport asked in the paddock what things were like now.
The psychic says that with the more recent rumors of Michael Andretti wanting to enter the sport with his own team, the possibilities may come under closer scrutiny. It is said that the current teams are pushing back the entry of the new Andretti team because they are afraid of losing revenue. In the end, the question of cost for both existing teams and new teams seems to be the most important factor in the entry of new entrants. For example, AMuS says Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes F1 is the so-called Champions League and only big brands belong in F1.
Cost and requirements of Porsche and Audi
Porsche and Audi seem qualified enough as big brands to participate by Wolff’s criteria, but then why has it suddenly gone silent for so long? This seems to be due to the fact that Audi will only participate in 2026 if electric cars are built. Porsche has an obligation to work with synthetic fuel. Additionally, it’s also unclear if another team will need to be bought out or if the brands could just partner with an existing team and develop an engine.
AMuS reports that it is possible that Volkswagen is actually too late financially to enter F1 and is currently no longer profitable. Indeed, the teams have increased significantly in value in recent years and the sport itself has also become more popular. It would have been much easier in 2020 to strike a deal with a team or buy one. A deal needs to be done before the new rule changes in 2026, so ideally everything would be in place before 2024. According to an insider, this is precisely what is difficult for Volkswagen; because the group is so large, decision making is very slow.
Audi/McLaren and Porsche/Red Bull
A deal between Audi and McLaren and Porsche and Red Bull appears to be on the cards. These reports are just not confirmed yet. Considering the arguments presented by AMuS, a partnership with another team seems to be the most obvious choice for Volkswagen. Former F1 driver and Porsche ambassador Robert Doornbos thinks a partnership between Porsche and Red Bull would be good and would likely give Max Verstappen another title.