Volkswagen’s supervisory board will make a decision on Thursday 7 April about the brand’s participation in Formula 1. F1 Insider speaks with former BMW motorsport boss Marc Surer about the possible scenarios for Audi and Porsche. The decision may also have major consequences for Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team.
On April 7, Volkswagen’s supervisory board will make a decision on the Volkswagen Group’s participation in Formula 1. Audi’s purchase of a stake in McLaren and Porsche’s partnership with Red Bull on engines is currently being finalized. discussed. Surer sheds light on the situation of the German car group and what we can expect from a possible collaboration.
‘It’s called a template. You must submit a template to the council. That has already happened. We have been informed that two projects; namely those of Audi and those of Porsche, have already gone through internally. Now all that’s left for the whole group to say is, “Yeah, you can do it!” But that also means that the proposals have already been approved internally. The last step is now a matter of principle. The long-term planning of a group plays a major role in this.’
Formula 1 participation very likely
On the rationale behind a possible entry, Surer says the following: “We are talking about two Volkswagen brands that need the sport. Audi was bought because the Audi Quattro raced in the World Rally Championship. They still live on the successes of Walter Röhrl and Michele Mouton. And if Porsche isn’t racing, then what is Porsche? So the two brands have to race. Therefore, I think the group will also approve it. And it has to be said: both have already chosen good partners.’
F1 project an investment of one billion euros
The former driver says a partnership with McLaren and Red Bull would be a good fit for Volkswagen: “When I consider that Andreas Seidl is now team principal at McLaren, the German connection should work well. And Red Bull and Porsche are also very close. It just fits.’ The Swiss does indicate that a lot of money is involved in a possible collaboration: ‘Nevertheless, a lot of money is at stake. Audi is even talking about a billion euros.’
Surer goes on to say that former Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug would have a better look at the partnership: “Maybe Haug can say something about it, because at the time he managed to convince Mercedes to buy its own team – even though BMW had just left.” entered Formula 1. He compared the sport’s presence in the media to what it would cost to invest in advertising. That’s exactly the point. Through advertising, such presence and reach is almost priceless. With Formula 1, you just have it. That’s why it makes sense.’
Update 19.07 (7/4) | Volkswagen gives green light for F1 entry in 2026, Porsche in the sea with Red Bull
The Volkswagen Group has given the green light for a Formula 1 entry from the 2026 season Auto, Motor und Sport announced Thursday evening. The Supervisory Board has given its approval, although it is still waiting for the new 2026 engine regulations to be finalized. With the entry of Volkswagen, Red Bull Racing will team up with Porsche, one of the brands of the German car giant.
Audi will also most likely partner with Sauber (now Alfa Romeo). That comes as a surprise, given that McLaren was in pole position for a long time to enter into the partnership with Audi. However, that deal now appears to have been completely canceled after Thursday afternoon’s vote. After all, McLaren did not want to sell the race team of the car brand and a higher offer for a full takeover of the brand was also rejected.
Aston Martin also seems to want a collaboration with Audi. Owner Lawrence Stroll wants to build his own engine for the 2026 season and sees Audi as an ideal partner. Building an engine facility like Red Bull did is no longer an option for Aston Martin. They think that there is not enough to gain in that area, as there already seems to be little staff on the market.
Red Bull and Porsche are building their own plan
Red Bull and Porsche will in any case go their own way. The former will take care of the combustion engine, while Porsche will take care of the electrical part of the power source with all its knowledge. Audi, on the other hand, is going to build its own engine block completely. The final announcement of the Porsche and Audi partnership is expected around the Austrian Grand Prix in July.