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VW gives green light for Audi, Porsche for Formula 1 entry – sources

FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen's factory is seen in Sao Bernardo do Campo
FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen’s factory is seen in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

March 31, 2022

HAMBURG (Reuters) – Audi and Porsche owner Volkswagen are expected to give the green light for the two brands’ entry into Formula One motorsport at a meeting next week, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

“We will then hopefully be able to communicate our intention to enter Formula 1,” one of the sources said, while the second added there was “good chance” for a positive decision.

Volkswagen declined to comment. The news was first reported by Business Insider.

There has long been talk of Audi and Porsche entering into partnerships with existing Formula 1 teams, their most likely path to the top tier of international racing.

Audi and McLaren last year denied reports that a partnership had already been formed between the two brands, but said it was under discussion and a decision could be expected later this year.

Audi will bid around 500 million euros ($556.30 million) for McLaren, a source said, while Porsche intends to develop a long-term partnership with racing team Red Bull starting in a few years.

Volkswagen was not previously involved in Formula 1 but has worked with Red Bull, most notably in the World Rally Championship. McLaren and Red Bull were not immediately available for comment.

A source told Reuters in November that Volkswagen’s final decision will depend on whether Formula 1 goes through with its plans to switch to synthetic fuels by 2026 and on McLaren’s progress in electrifying its cars.

Volkswagen has invested by far the most of any global automaker in the production of electric vehicles and batteries to clean its image from the Dieselgate emissions scandal and stay in line with government CO2 reduction targets.

The decision comes as Volkswagen grapples with the uncertainty of the Ukraine war’s impact on its finances, which will also be discussed at next Thursday’s meeting.

($1 = 0.8988 euros)

(Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Writing by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Emma Thomasson and Jan Harvey)

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DUSTIN JONES

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