Saturday, 25 April 2015

Piech departure clears the way for Volkswagen Formula One project

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

Volkswagen could enter Formula One in the near future after their Chairman Dr Ferdinand K Piech, the man opposed to the company entering F1 has resigned with immediate effect following a power struggle with his CEO, opening the door for the company to potentially launch a bid to race in Formula One.

The German car giant who own brands such as Porsche, Lamborghini and Audi are already involved in Formula One as they sponsor Scuderia Toro Rosso however whenever the idea of entering Formula One as a manufacturer or power unit supplier under the Audi, Porsche or Lamborghini banner came up it was rejected by Piech.

Piech who is not a fan of Formula One Supremo Bernie Ecclestone had stated that as long as Mr Ecclestone is involved with the sport than the VW Group would not be. However now that Dr Piech has resigned and been replaced temporarily by Deputy Chairman Berthold Huber.

The news means that Formula One could potentially see VW enter Formula One with the Audi brand as the company already have two of their main brands Audi and Porsche in the World Endurance Championship and it is unlikely that Porsche would move from WEC to F1 as they have only just entered the championship, Audi on the other hand have been extremely successful in the Endurance Championship with Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen.

It may decide to set up a team in Formula One in the near future as the sport has now moved to the smaller 1.6 litre V6 turbo charged power units. Audi could potentially buy an existing team or indeed become a power unit supplier.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens but it would be great if we saw another car manufacturer in Formula One and particularly VW as they have seen their main rivals Mercedes achieve so much success in the sport in recent years. 

© Ben Johnston 2015

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