Audi has all but dominated the World Endurance Championship’s LMP1 class in modern times, and is now rumored to be entering the world’s top tier motorsports series, Formula 1. We recently reported that the departure of Volkswagen Group boss Ferdinand Piech may allow the automaker to finally enter F1, and now more evidence has surfaced suggesting this may be the case.
When asked by AutoExpress if Audi will enter F1 in the near future, Audi boss Rupert Stadler admitted the automaker has considered it, but said it’s not ready to make a decision at this time.
“It’s something we’re looking at, but then we’re always looking at it and many other things. But I can’t say yes or no,” Stadler said.
VW Group is reportedly hounding Audi to leave the FIA WEC, as it’s currently competing directly with fellow VW Group manufacturer Porsche. Logistically speaking, it would make more sense for Audi to make a departure from the series and leave Porsche to scoop up manufacturer’s championships there.
Red Bull’s interest in partnering up with VW/Audi in F1 is also providing more fodder for the rumors. The team has struggled to remain competitive since the 1.6-liter V6 regulation changes, and is currently not happy with engine supplier Renault. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko recently confirmed they would leave F1 if they could not find a more competitive engine.
“If we don’t have a competitive engine in the near future, then either Audi is coming or we are out,” Marko told Motorsport.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone also added that he does not want to see Red Bull leave the sport and has said he would welcome VW’s entrance into the sport with wide open arms.
“They (Red Bull) won’t leave. We want to avoid that,” Ecclestone said. “It would be great if (VW Group) came in.”