More Volkswagen-to-F1 rumours (German)
28th January 2012, 18:34 at 6:34 pm #130833
Volkswagen Group’s Wolfgang Durheimer (Bentley chairman and chief executive but, more importantly, head of motorsport) has been talking to German weekly business magazine Wirtschafts Woche about the company’s prospects of entering F1.
The translation of the article suggests VW could enter as an engine supplier as a precursor to taking over a team of its own, such as Toro Rosso.
Durheimer made similar remarks last year – but said a Volkswagen entry into F1 wouldn’t happen before 2018:28th January 2012, 18:46 at 6:46 pm #191390
Very interesting. He’s saying that Porsche would be the most logical brand to use in F1, which I agree with. It sounded in the past like they would actually use VW in F1, so I’m glad they have tentative plans at least to use the Porsche brand. It’ll be interesting to see if/how this develops.28th January 2012, 19:01 at 7:01 pm #191391
Hm, looks as if the appetite at VW to go into F1 is growing again. But if they want to get in anytime soon, they would probably have to team up with someone like PURE to get VW or Porsche branded engines.
Would make sense to get in to STR. A team without any proper long time goal (apart from being a place where Red Bull can test drivers – which can be easily served differently) and an owner looking for a buyer. And VW has long standing good relations with Red Bull as well.28th January 2012, 21:06 at 9:06 pm #191392
Just a thought, do you think they would ever consider entering F1 using a marque which they own, such as Lamborghini, or would they go in solely as VW?28th January 2012, 21:18 at 9:18 pm #191393
I’d be content about Porsche as an engine supplier, but somehow I’d dislike them as an dntire team. Auto Union would be more to my liking as a team but they don’t own that name anymore.
In general I feel more engine suppliers would be a good thing. It keeps costs down for the development (no aero) but if its a good engine it still provides good advertising (and some lose change as payments for providing the engines) and possibly some useful research results. Then again, there should be more room to differentiate, otherwise there isn’t much room to show your particular value without running a team.
As Rudi Völler said: Tear out a hair off your behind and you’ll have a tear in your eye .. everything is connected ..29th January 2012, 2:50 at 2:50 am #191394
He’s saying that Porsche would be the most logical brand to use in F1, which I agree with.
The problem is that Volkswagen don’t own Porsche. They only have a minority shareholding, so they would need Porsche to agree to it. And if they were going to rebrand PURE engines, the Porsche would have to be super-confident about it. If Porsche were unwilling, then I imagine that VW would enter themselves, or enter under the Bugatti or Bentley names (I know VW own Lamborghini, but Ferruccio Lamborghini didn’t want to compete in motorsport as a factory team).
A team without any proper long time goal (apart from being a place where Red Bull can test drivers – which can be easily served differently) and an owner looking for a buyer.
I’m not sure Toro Rosso is up for sale. Rumours that Red Bull are going to get rid of them come so often that you can almost set your watch by them, but they’ve never come to anything. I think it would be in VW’s interests to buy into a team like Williams or Sauber, and run them as a de facto works team, like Mercedes did with McLaren.
If VW did buy Toro Rosso, it would pretty much mean the end of the Red Bull driver program. VW would be under no obligation to run red Bull development drivers, especially since Toro Rosso only does it so that Red Bull Racing can find drivers for their team. If VW bought in and Red Bull was still a race-winning team, then they wouldn’t be taking on rookies, and so there would be nowhere for their development drivers to go.29th January 2012, 7:57 at 7:57 am #191395
VW doesn’t own Porsche, but Porsche and VW are both majority owned by Porsche Automobil Holding SE, which is the Porsche/Piecht family. So in effect they are subsidiaries of the same company even though Porsche is not under the umbrella of the VW group.29th January 2012, 8:09 at 8:09 am #191396
they are subsidiaries of the same company
Precisely: they are in the same position relative to one another. VW’s relationship with Porsche is not the same as their relationship with a company like SEAT or Skoda. Therefore, it would be harder for VW to enter the sport with Porsche than it would be to enter with one of their own subsidiaries.29th January 2012, 13:15 at 1:15 pm #191397
If Bentley, Porsche or Bugatti were used I’d want to see actual involvement, rather than VW supplying the money, the sub-brand supplying the name and that being it. I don’t care if a non- sports/performance brand enters but actually there’s hardly any connection between the team name and the actual F1 team, but if it’s a prestige brand I’d rather it was more than just a marketing exercise. That is why I wouldn’t get behind Lotus at all if I didn’t love the look of their line-up.29th January 2012, 13:25 at 1:25 pm #191398
With Porsche returning to Le Mans in 2014, though, would they also need an F1 team?
Would be terrific if they had both, of course.29th January 2012, 15:37 at 3:37 pm #191399
Correct me if I’m wrong, but amongst brands owned by Volkswagen AG, only Audi (as Auto Union), Bentley and Bugatti have had prior history as Grand Prix winners, correct? Wouldn’t they be missing out on a spectacular marketing opportunity should they fail to enter any of these brands?29th January 2012, 16:55 at 4:55 pm #191400
@scuderiavincero Porsche won a single non-championship event, but as an engine supplier had a lots more success.29th January 2012, 17:14 at 5:14 pm #191401
Well, Porsche got a lot of credit and therefore a lot of good advertising in the McLaren TAG Porsche “era”. That of course weren’t 5 titles and 25 won races for Porsche, but still they got credit and recognition for it, so I don’t see why that shouldn’t work again.
They are already building engines for sportscars and a kind of motorsport, so I suppose it shouldn’t be THAT big a step to build engines for F1 aswell but Keiths argument is valid, it’d be unusual to see a manufacturer have works teams in different sports (by the way, wouldn’t a Ferrari works team in LeMans be a nice thing again?). VW built engines for F3 so they might use their own brand. Still I’d like Porsche engines best.
(as a guest speaker in a seminar this semester we had a chief exec from Rothschild and he discussed a deal VW made where he mentioned that they will have billions (with a b) to spend in the next couple of years (for tax reasons and security etc reasons). So instead of investing all of it in acquisitions they might free up some of it for motorsports, but I’ll believe it when I see it.)29th January 2012, 17:19 at 5:19 pm #191402
@bananarama I’m not too bothered whether it’s works or not (although it would be nice), I just want to see a Ferrari LMP1 car.29th January 2012, 17:19 at 5:19 pm #191403
I’m not so sure how to feel about this one to be honest. VW strike me as a company which is very much run by the accountants. If they ran an F1 team in the same way, they could well end up beign like Toyota, Honda and BMW and simply pull the plug on their F1 programme if it turned out that they didn’t dominate the world within 3 seasons.
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