Volkswagen in Formula 1 con la McLaren o la Red Bull

Woking has denied an agreement with Audi, but the German group is looking for a partner for 2025, perhaps using Honda know-how

The news and the denial arrived by return of post. We are talking about the hypothesis that Audi could buy McLaren to land in F1 with its team from 2025-2026, when it will move to next generation hybrid engines. It is clear that the potential entry of an industrial giant like the Volkswagen group is tempting to many. At F1 itself, which has been trying for years to attract new constructors without success, but also to some teams, including the Woking team, which has long been looking for a great partner to bond with.

This year the historic English brand, traditionally comparable only to Ferrari, changed supply by switching to Mercedes power units. But it still remains a “customer” team from Stuttgart. The situation would change if in the future he became the reference team of another great competitor. It would gain both for competitiveness on the track and for economic stability, given that McLaren has had to face losses with three recapitalisations in the last three years and the sale to a fund of the futuristic headquarters designed by architect Norman Foster, where today is for rent. The news of an Audi interest should not be displeasing, as long as we remain confidential …

partner di red bull

In fact, Volkswagen has more than one option on the table if they really decide to take the plunge. Red Bull, in addition to having the best chassis in circulation and a brilliant technician like Adrian Newey, has decided to build its own engines, after the announcement of Honda’s retirement at the end of 2021, and is making huge investments to create a department ad hoc by exploiting the technological know-how inherited from the Japanese. A unique opportunity for Volkswagen, which could take over the operation by acquiring specific knowledge on current power units, rather than starting from scratch, with savings of hundreds of millions of euros. At that point, he could even sit at the negotiating table for the hybrid engines of the future without having to impose radical changes to “compensate” for the competitive disadvantage. Among other things, Red Bull was a sponsor of Volkswagen in the years of triumphs in rallying with the Polo R, culminating in the conquest of 4 drivers and constructors’ championships between 2013 and 2016. The affinity is therefore long-standing. It remains to be seen whether there may be the same interest on the part of Milton Keynes in marriage. It being understood that having a power like Volkswagen behind us would represent the best guarantee to fight on an equal footing with Mercedes (waiting for Ferrari). As far as is known, Volkswagen would also like a second satellite team to supply the engines to.

audi or porsche

The horizon of this story seems distant, but it is not. The next regulation on engines must be defined quickly, because the design of the new power units (which will use increasingly environmentally friendly fuels) takes several years. It is also to be determined whether the debut will take place in 2025 or more likely in 2026. The FIA ​​hoped that a general agreement would be reached by the end of the year, so as to be able to ratify it at the World Council, but almost certainly it will not. Finally, it is necessary to understand on which Volkswagen brand the choice will fall for a possible entry into the GPs. Both Audi and Porsche top management intervened in the negotiations. For the former, F1 would have a direct promotional impact on series production, while the latter could use it as the flagship of its sporting activity.

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Volkswagen in Formula 1 con la McLaren o la Red Bull