Rumors have recently surfaced that Audi may make a return to Formula 1 in the future, which has turned the attention towards’ the automaker’s highly successful Le Mans program. Audi has dominated Le Mans for almost 15 years now, starting with the R8 LMP in 2000, but how much more would F1 cost than its world class LMP efforts?
According to Jalopnik, Audi’s prototype race program costs them about $242,000,000 each year. That sounds like a lot, especially to average Joes like you and me, but that amount is only enough to fund an F1 team running at the back of the grid.
Even if Audi spent double what it spent on the LMP program with its rumored F1 racing efforts, there’s no guarantee they’d see success. Ferrari spent $400 million for this 2014 season and has no wins and only one podium finish to show for it.
In sticking with its Le Mans program, Audi would all but guarantee themselves more bragging rights in their ads and commercials, and it would only cost them a measly $242,000,000. Meanwhile, if they were to enter F1, they could have a much less successful season and have spent over double the amount they typically would have.
No matter what they decide to do, they have plenty of time to make up their minds, as they aren’t rushing to get a car on F1 grid.