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Volkswagen serious about F1, says Capito

NEWS STORY
28/11/2021

Williams CEO, Jost Capito, who was previously boss at Volkswagen motorsport, says he believes the manufacturer is serious about entering F1.

While the German giant is not understood to be considering the sport as a constructor it is looking at entering as a manufacturer, attracted by the new engine rules set to be introduced in 2026 which will see simplified, cheaper, sustainable power units.

For as long as anyone can remember VW has been linked with F1 which would enter the sport using either the Porsche or Audi name.

Earlier this month, Thomas Laudenbach, Porsche's vice-president of motorsport, confirmed that the conditions under which the company would enter the sport were now "coming true", but that it cannot "wait too long" on a decision.

Asked what the chances are of Volkswagen making the move, Capito insists the German giant is serious.

"I believe it very much depends on the regulations," he told Motorsport.com, "and the engine regulations for '26 are not yet out. I think it all depends on that.

"If they have been serious, they have been part of the engine regulation discussions, I don't think they waste their time in going to these meetings, especially also the CEO coming to those meetings, and not being serious," he added.

"But finally, it depends on what the final regulations are if then the Volkswagen Group thinks it makes sense, they might go to the board and ask for a decision."

Earlier this month, it was claimed that the McLaren Group had been sold to Audi, a move quickly denied by the Woking company.

Capito is doubtful that Volkswagen would consider F1 as a constructor but also admits that partnering with an established team might present difficulties.

"It's always difficult with a known team," he said. "Especially with a German team, with all the union regulations you really can't run a race team.

"This is why Audi in the past went with Joest and others," he continued, referring to its WEC programme, "it's the same as BMW, because it's very difficult to run a factory team. It might be easier if it is abroad. I really don't know.

"When you look at the Volkswagen Group they had different strategies in the past. The rally team was a full factory team, and Porsche did full factory teams outsourced, the same as with Audi.

"I'm not involved in that kind of discussions," he admitted. "But I think that explains enough to take the right decision for them."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 01/12/2021 7:39

"@ Spindoctor. Porsche have already produced a PU which was more that a prototype recently so they are well advanced in the concept besides Porsche and Audi are both racing non stop and have been for a very long time. Their entry into the LMHd for 2023 ensures that their hybrid systems are full blast. They are far more than a 'work in progress'. Couple that with attendances and input to the 25/26 PU planning meetings and I'd venture to say that they are more than likely to be as advanced as any other team. IMO there is no comparison with the Honda/McLaren adventure!

Whilst in no way a game changer it does help to know that Andreas Seidl is a Porsche man through and through and therefore ease of entry and compatibility would be far easier to implement with the current McLaren team already in place. Hoping that it all comes to pass...."

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 30/11/2021 15:08

"@kenji
McLaren would be their ideal partner - a team with some great personnel, good drivers & lots of History. VAG would stand a chance of having a decent chassis & McLaren potentially a decent PU, though even assuming the 2026 spec motors are "simpler" there's no guarantee, or even likelihood that VAG could produce a competitive package in year 1 or 2.
Like Bill Hopgood, I doubt McLaren will be anxious to be guinea-pigs for another unproven PU, so soon after the Honda debacle. Especially so after seeing RBR subsequently get the benefit of all their pain...

I think the intervening seasons with the new format cars will play a very big part in which manufacturers come & go & in what capacity. The status of the current hegemony likewise. With Newey on-board & firing on all cylinders & the Honda\RBR as competitive as currently 2022 is RBR's to lose. Consequently, I think VAG won't be plonking any chips on the table (in Public at least) for a while yet.


"

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3. Posted by kenji, 28/11/2021 23:46

"@ Bill Hopgood...Fully understand your outlook but despite what happened in the past the future is where it's at. The future for McLaren is not having a Mercedes in the back of the car but an equal if not superior PU from a quality race oriented manu. Mercedes even acknowledge that they have known engine variances within their own team let alone competitors....... McLaren need to have an exclusive deal on PU supply and they would be best served with a three way ownership deal that would deliver on all three fronts. That could be existing shareholders supplying everything sans PU, the PU manu [ Porsche/Audi ] and the combination of those two elements being the 'race entity', the third party. "

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4. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 28/11/2021 17:32

"@kenji, I see your point but from a McLaren's fan perspective, please not another "new" PU supplier and three years of drivers on deck chairs, retirements on the out-lap and cries of "GP2 Engine! Arrrggh!"
"

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5. Posted by kenji, 28/11/2021 11:16

"If either Porsche or Audi decide to throw their chapeau into the ring McLaren would be a great choice for both parties. McLaren would be well aware that they will not be realistic challengers for either WC so long as they are a Mercedes customer team. McLaren would certainly be the prize given their history, infrastructure and MO vis a vis their 'supercar' manu status. Whatever happens I just want to see the current hegemony dismantled."

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6. Posted by Roli, 28/11/2021 9:57

"Hope he is not thinking of running a Diesel powered unit...."

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