VW Group To Reportedly Announce F1 Plans With McLaren And RedBull Next Month
The long-lasting will-they-won’t-they tension between the Volkswagen Group and Formula 1 may come to an end next week, as unnamed sources familiar with the matter say the green light for two brands to announce their entry into the sport is coming.
The approval is set to be given at a meeting next week, the sources told Reuters. “We will hopefully be able to communicate our intention to enter into Formula 1 then,” said one, while the second said there was a “good chance” of a positive decision.
Rumors have long swirled about Audi and Porsche entering the sport, with McLaren even confirming that they were in talks with Audi about an acquisition. McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, though, said that a deal was not imminent.
“If they decide [to come in] then there’s a conversation to be had but at this point, we don’t want to have any conversations until we know someone is committed to the sport,” said Brown.
The same report adds that Audi will offer around €500 million ($552 million USD at current exchange rates) for the team. Porsche, meanwhile, intends to establish a long-term partnership with Red Bull, starting in several years’ time. That aligns with a report from Car Magazine that was published earlier this year.
Porsche’s entry into the sport is likely to begin after 2026 when the new Formula 1 engine regulations come into effect to introduce synthetic fuels in an attempt to keep the sport relevant. Porsche has invested heavily in the technology and already used an e-fuel it synthesized to power race cars in a spec series it runs.
The Volkswagen Group pulled out of a number of topflight motorsport series following the Dieselgate crisis. Its attempt to take on one of the world’s premier racing series, though, is getting complicated by global events like the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which are throwing the global economy into uncertainty.