Could Porsche or Audi join F1?
Talks of the Volkswagen Group entering the sport are heating up
It's been an open secret for a while now that the Volkswagen Group, that are the parent company of subsidiaries such as Porsche, Audi, Seat & Volkswagen (to name a few), are interested in entering Formula 1.
With the gap in the market after the Honda brand are planned to leave F1 at the end of this season, it would be the perfect opportunity for a Porsche or Audi takeover to flourish themselves into the sport. The current engine regulations are set to change in 2025, and a deal has already been struck between Red Bull, AlphaTauri and Honda where the two teams will continue to use the Honda power units under their new company Red Bull Powertrains Limited.
Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 16, 2021 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
There were talks, in the first couple months of 2021, of the Volkswagen Group considering entering F1. With the prospect of a new engine era just a few years away, new engine suppliers are keen to dipping their toes into the world that is Formula 1.
E-fuels have become a central topic of discussion for the new engine regulations, with F1 committing to making them a central part of the sport from 2025.
In an interview with SkySports F1, Toto Wolff (Team Principal & CEO of Mercedes-AMG Petronas) hinted at the likelihood of the Red Bull power supply being taken over by one of the companies from the Volkswagen Group, to support the team as they plan local engine development in Milton Keynes, where the team is based.
Christian Horner (Team Principal of Red Bull Racing) denies claims there are talks between Red Bull Racing and the Volkswagen Group over an engine supply takeover.
The current buy in price for a company to enter a new team into the sport is $200m, which is an immediate deterrant for most. Let alone the sudden weight of actually organising and building a brand new team from the ground up. A takeover of an already existing team's power unit is a much more cost efficient way for new manufacturers to enter themselves into Formula 1.
If Porsche or Audi were seriously looking at entering the sport, this opportunity of becoming one of the top teams engine supplier would be a mistake to overlook. If there ever was a time for them to enter the sport, it would be now.
Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2nd position, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, the Red Bull trophy delegate and Lando Norris, McLaren, 3rd position, on the podium during the Emilia Romagna GP (Photo by Steven Tee / LAT Images)
What do you think? Could we see a Porsche or Audi powered Red Bull on the grid in the next few years?