Currently reading: VW considers F1 engine supply
Group could move into F1 from 2012
2 mins read
27 November 2009

The Volkswagen Group is considering entering Formula One from 2012 as an engine supplier.

The group's motorsport chief, Hans-Joachim Stuck, told Autosport that new engine regulations to be introduced to the sport aimed at cutting costs are making the sport more attractive for the firm.

VW was linked to buying into the Red Bull team a few years ago, but Stuck insisted any VW entry now would be as an engine supplier to multiple teams and not as a partner to a team in the same way Brawn has teamed up with Mercedes and BMW partnered Sauber.

"If you're the world's largest manufacturer it is natural that we're thinking about [F1], but not before 2012," he said. "We're looking for innovative things, and F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. Two years ago there was some talk that Volkswagen was going to buy the Red Bull F1 team, which we didn't need to buy. Why should we stick with one team if we can give our engines to more teams?

"If you buy Red Bull and Adrian Newey wants to go flying or fishing, the team is not successful any more. Look at BMW. They bought this multi-million-dollar wind tunnel and a supercomputer and they now close the doors. Building an engine and providing it to a team is the best way."

VW considers F1 entry

The imminent expansion of the grid and the reduced costs of the sport have caught VW's eye, and the firm is not deterred by the pullouts of Honda, BMW and Toyota in the past 12 months.

"Now it's amazing; Formula One is going the right way," said Stuck. "Many manufacturers have already pulled out, and we don't know how long the others will keep going.

"They should become engine manufacturers and then lease the engine, sell the engine or give it to somebody. Then you lose all the hassle with teams, wind tunnels, engineers, you know. It's like Formula 1 in my days. We had March, we had Lotus, and we had Ford engines. Then Renault came in as an engine manufacturer, with a formidable engine. This was perfect.

"I followed Formula 1 for the last seven years with BMW and I always asked myself on the grid, with only 20 cars, what if we could have 30 cars? Now we're getting back to this. We have three more teams next year, 26 cars, and by having a global engine, which is good in cost and reliable, we can have 30 cars on the grid."

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CapsLock 28 November 2009

Re: VW considers F1 engine supply

-disco.stu - Cosworth was kind of seperate from the RR thing but its purchase was conditional on Audi getting RR - not sure why?

-Ford had a lot invested in Cosworth and thus where keen to not see Audi get all the tech. Cosworth and Ford had developed; i do not know what influence they had over the deal but they wanted to make sure they got the bit (Cos. racing) that was important to them - i guess some sort of "take over clause" in any contract will have been enacted.

-thus as soon as Audi thought they had RR (which they had not due to the Aero engines owning the name NOT RR cars) they started the process and got and then split up Cosworth into two sections as stated.

-i do not know why Audi had the condition i.e. it could only buy Cosworth if it got (what it thought) was RR.

NOTE - as far as i know, BMW did not enter into a bidding war with Audi; RR cars was set up again by BMW (as i understand) - Bentley is the name Audi got although it got all the RR staff (as i understand)

NOTE - BMW (as referenced) have shares (or used to) in RR Jet Engines and its RR jet engines that own the name "Rolls Royce" - as dar as i know they leased the name RR to Bentley - hence when Audi bought it BM pulled on the plug (via the Aero Engine business) on Audi using the name.

Lanehogger 28 November 2009

Re: VW considers F1 engine supply

Lee23404 wrote:
Can't remember but you're right they do have the engineering expertise one way or another.

They certainly do have engineering expereience in motorsport, and non probably better than Audi with the engines found in their R8, R10 and R15 sports-protoytpes, especially with the purpose-built diesel units found in the latter 2.

Mind you, with Joest running the factory Audis in sportscar racing, whose to say VW Group won't go beyond just being an engine supplier but also be a constructor in F1 through Joest. After all Mr Joest has shown almost unparrelled success in sportscar racing (even beating works teams with the same car/engine!).

disco.stu 28 November 2009

Re: VW considers F1 engine supply

i think Cosworth was separate to the bidding war between VW & BMW for Rolls-Royce/Bentley. But the result was similar - Cosworth was split in two, with Ford getting Cosworth Racing and Audi getting Cosworth Engineering, which as has been pointed out, they subsequently sold on.

I imagine there would be nothing stopping them using more than one brand name in F1 - say a Red Bull-Audi and a Lotus-VW or a Sauber-Porsche, even if it is the same engine. I am surprised than Ferrari never used to do that when they were supplying engines to Sauber, and have a Sauber-Maserati. Cheap publicity, without buying the whole team.

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