It isn’t exactly a secret that Volkswagen has considered expanding its motorsports activities into the world of Formula 1. Although the company mulled diving into F1 racing and engine building, it seems VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch has quashed both ideas.
Reports about VW delving into the world of F1 began back in May, when the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile — F1’s sanctioning body — began investigating engine options for the 2013 season. The engines are to be 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder units. That idea apparently caught VW’s attention, and Hans Joachim-Stuck, VW’s motorsports representative, later confirmed the company was indeed looking at supplying such an engine.
VW’s F1 involvement could have moved past building engines, however. Speculation swirled at this year’s Paris Motor Show that the company was actually going to participate in F1 racing, likely through a works team backed by its Porsche subsidiary. Porsche last participated in F1 in 1991, when it provided a 3.5-liter V-12 to the Footwork Arrows FA12C racer.
Although VW’s intents were pure, the pursuits have reportedly been abandoned. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, Piëch himself put the kibosh on both F1 plans, which reportedly allows the company to pursue other motorsport ventures. Although nothing has been confirmed yet, possible ventures include Porsche returning to Le Mans prototype racing, or Volkswagen fielding an entry in the World Rally Championship.
Arguably, both Red Bull Racing and McLaren’s F1 teams are hit hardest by this news. Earlier reports suggested both teams, which currently use engines from Renault and Mercedes-Benz, respectively, were very much interested in purchasing Volkswagen’s F1 powerplant.
Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung