Formula 1 entry from 2026: Volkswagen will not make a decision until the end of February

The go for Formula 1 is now later than expected. The Volkswagen Supervisory Board does not want to deal with a possible entry of the group brands Audi and Porsche into the premier class from the 2026 season until the end of February at the earliest. report that DOES and Reuters, citing corporate circles.

Most recently, it was said that the commitment for a debut (Audi) or a comeback (Porsche) in the most important racing series in the world could be made in Wolfsburg as early as these weeks. Apparently this has now been delayed by a few weeks. In principle, however, an entry by Audi and Porsche is still expected. In Ingolstadt, the new engine regulations for the premier class had recently been explicitly praised in a letter to those responsible for Formula 1, thus raising expectations once again.

It is still unclear to what extent both brands could enter Formula 1. The FAZ is now reporting that Audi and Porsche could start as “own racing teams”. At the same time, however, the paper relies on information that Audi is conducting negotiations to buy McLaren, while Porsche is discussing cooperation with Red Bull.

“Own racing team” only on paper

A possible “own racing team” would therefore only consist of branding and the designation of the Formula 1 team. At Volkswagen, this is by no means about the establishment of two completely separate Formula 1 teams, whose infrastructure and increase in personnel with its high costs in the three-digit million range would hardly be plausible at the current time.

If Audi finally buys the entire McLaren company, including the road cars, renaming the racing team Audi would of course be conceivable – but still under the leadership of McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl and with Formula 1 cars developed by McLaren engineers. Powered by a Formula 1 powertrain jointly developed by Audi and Porsche, which would be an Audi engine and a Porsche engine depending on the team.

The situation at Porsche is even more complicated. The people of Zuffenhausen are talking – this is known – with Red Bull about a cooperation. However, it is not to be expected that the Brause racing team with world champion Max Verstappen will sell its team in just four years in order to leave the field completely to Porsche. Because: Formula 1 will be significantly cheaper in the future due to cost limits and simpler engines.

The Austrians are keen on an engine from the Volkswagen Group, but why should the enormous advertising value of Formula 1, which Red Bull with Max Verstappen at the helm is likely to increase rather than decrease in the future, be handed over to Porsche? Even if a financially lucrative offer comes in from Stuttgart?

Possible development: Audi will completely incorporate McLaren by 2026 and then consistently start with the McLaren racing team as an Audi team. Porsche only supplies the engines to an existing Red Bull team.

First VW employees against Formula 1 entry

In the meantime there is initial resistance to the plans of the group from the ranks of the Volkswagen employees. The so-called “List 2 (We for you)”, which will compete against the current works council chairwoman Daniela Cavallo in the upcoming works council elections in March, criticizes a possible entry into Formula 1 in a statement.

A letter from the signatories Michael Maginski and Norbert Lem says: “While there are significant sales declines at Volkswagen due to the pandemic and a lack of chips and employees are being sent on short-time work en masse, the planning of a Formula 1 commitment comes at an inopportune time. “

List 2 also demands: “We expect a clear signal from the top works council on these business games, especially since Daniela Cavallo also has a seat and vote on the Group’s supervisory board. We from List 2 (We for you) call on the incumbent works council to get involved to devote full commitment to securing employment and to developing ideas for the years 2022 and 2023. Business games for a Formula 1 entry are to be avoided.” (dpa/lw/joh)

Also read:

How Formula 1 clears the way for Volkswagen

Källenius invites Porsche to Formula 1

Audi is preparing for Formula 1 entry

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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