Volkswagen Group is still open to entering Formula One from 2013, should the sport make some fundamental changes.
VW’s motorsport chief Kris Nissen wants the sport to improve its image, drive down costs and improve its stability before the group commits itself to F1. This, Nissen believes, is the responsibility of the new FIA president Jean Todt and the exisiting teams.
“Formula 1 is facing one of the most difficult situations it has had for many years," Nissen told autosport.com.
“They need to handle that, and I really believe that Todt and the teams will do that. I think that for manufacturers to come back, or for new manufacturers to enter Formula 1, you need to have stability, you need to have a slightly different image, and you need to bring the costs down.”
VW’s main motorsport commitment is to the Dakar Rally and it continues to be linked to a fresh assault on the World Rally Championship. Nissen says a decision could not be made on the group’s F1 involvement until it has competed in at least two more Dakars. VW is not short of options of what to call its team; Audi, Bentley and Bugatti are believed to be the most likely options.
“There is a difference between the brand Volkswagen and the Volkswagen group," he said. "The VW group has a lot of brands, 10 now, with different images. If the group enters Formula 1, they would need to decide which brand, and I personally think that they would decide on another brand than Volkswagen.
"If it were to happen, it would be 'the VW group enters F1' with whatever brand. But I can promise you that there will be at least a couple more Dakars to come before this decision is taken.”