"We will definitely not enter Formula 1, we have never dreamed of it," said Volkswagen's Bernd Pischetsrieder last month. But in Formula 1, the best way to keep a rumour alive is by denying it. As a matter of fact, further speculation about the ...
"We will definitely not enter Formula 1, we have never dreamed of it," said Volkswagen's Bernd Pischetsrieder last month. But in Formula 1, the best way to keep a rumour alive is by denying it. As a matter of fact, further speculation about the Volkswagen Group entering Formula 1 has been sparked this week, with rumours that a sporting arm is to be established within the organisation, after it was announced that Bernd Pischetsrieder will become chairman of the company in April of next year.
Using the same business model than Ford with its Premier Performance which handles the motorsport activities of the American Giant, the arm is reportedly the idea of Bernd Pischetsrieder. He is apparently eager to bring together a selection of Volkswagen’s numerous brands under an umbrella so the group’s motorsport programme is more structured and organized. It is believed that Audi, the luxury marque, Lamborghini, the supercar maker, and Seat, the hatch and small sedan carmaker, will be included in the division. Seat is already involved in the World Rally Championship. Lamborghini is highly unlikely to be used for Formula 1, but Audi, rival to BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz, is set to be the brand of choice for Pischetsrieder and his officials for a Grand Prix entry.
It is well known that Pischetsrieder is a huge fan of motor racing and Formula 1, and thinks that it is a cost-effective way of promoting a brand. He has also announced that he plans to set-up a sporting division of the group when takes control. He was also chairman of BMW when the firm decided on making a formula1 comeback in 1997.
Mercedes boss Jurgen Hubbert also appears to believe that Volkswagen will make an entry into the sport. He recently told German media that he was sure that Audi's successful Le Mans programme was: "the preliminary step towards Formula 1".
However, Volkswagen has consistently denied the speculation. "If one would combine the different rumours, then we are planning all of the following: Giancarlo Fisichella as a driver, a Lamborghini Minardi and also a supply of engines to Jordan. However, there is nothing to any of it," said a spokesperson in October.
There is currently no place open in Formula 1 for a new team, either. If a new constructor wished to enter the championship they would have to buy an existing team out.