The folks at the F1 circus are getting desperate. Car makers are evacuating F1 as if it’s about to be wiped out by a hurricane. Honda gone. BMW gone. Toyota gone. Hyundai said “are you kidding us?” (Or Korean words to that effect.) And now someone, obviously on serious mind altering substances, thought they could get Volkswagen to come and play.
In early October, someone dropped a hint at the German newspaper FAZ that Volkswagen is planning a big race circus. With two brands, Volkswagen and Porsche. Formula 1 and, what the hell, maybe even NASCAR. Rumor also was that Porsche wants back to LeMans. For starters.
Today, Motorsport.com says it was all bunk: “The Volkswagen group is not going to enter Formula One.” The FAZ has a better account today. Ferdinand Piech himself shot down the plan. The same man who supposedly had dreams of pitting Audi against Porsche on the race course. According to the FAZ, Piech is suddenly so race-adverse that they don’t even want to supply racing engines.
Interesting tidbit in the FAZ: Because the big boys of Honda, BMW and Toyota have left F1, along with their not as deep as previously pockets, playing in the F1 league got downright cheap. Instead of €450m ($630m), a racing team can now be campaigned for half. Soon, F1 will be a grassroots sport! But even the el cheapo argument could not swerve Piech: Nein.
They should have known better. Volkswagen prefers to race where they are guaranteed to win. For instance in the Scirocco R-Cup series. Back in the days when Mikkola and Röhl monopolized the podium at rally races with win after win in the Audi Quattro, Audi was a big booster of the sport. The minute Audi lost (and one of their drivers killed a few spectators,) Audi left the rally sport.