#MotorsportTribune: Audi, behind the past, and its future in Formula One
About a day ago, news around the Formula One paddock has it that Audi will send two of its engine consultant to an upcoming engine meeting in Paris this Friday to influence Formula One’s planned engine regulations for 2022 onward. Well, looks like Dieselgate still hasn’t stop Audi at all then.
Now the idea of having Audi joining Formula One has been discussed before. Most prominently two years ago when Audi and sisters’ brand Volkswagen and Lamborghini was linked with Red Bull in a partnership with the Austrian outfit based in Milton Keynes. It was due to the fact that the Renault’s engine performed badly both on performance and reliability.
Porsche also considers returning to Formula One as a full factory supported team if their sportscar plans for WEC fell out when they announced their return to the WEC back in 2013.
Also back in 2011, Volkswagen hinted at the possibility of them joining the sport in 2018 when their Formula 3 engine’s program was doing well.
Also the timing of the report is also significant as in a recent interview with Autosport in which they makes a curious distinction: “the Volkswagen Group will not enter Formula 1 until the ownership of the sport and the technical regulations are settled.”
In which this was before Liberty Media taking over the operation of the sport, so this could mean something…
This is understandable as Audi is actually expanding its motorsport involvement after pulling out of WEC. Not only focusing on their GT3 operations worldwide, Audi also expands its involvement to Formula E with longtime customer ABT Sportline and also providing factory support to previously privately run EKS RX in the World RX Championship for their DTM driver Matthias Ekstrom.
Audi hasn’t competed in the top level of Grand Prix racing since the start of Formula One, but they did achieve an incredible amount of success during their times as Auto Union during the pre-war Grand Prix days in the European Championship with the program being sponsored by yeah… (I don’t want to name it out)
It was during their prime from 1935 to 1937 they won 25 races and being driven by pre-war racing legends such as Ernst von Delius, Tazio Nuvolari, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck and Achille Varzi. With the Type C and Type D proven a class of its own before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Now the question is, will Audi enter Formula One as a factory supported team or in the role of an engine supplier like Honda, we might never know until 2022. But to see Audi as their own team or supplying engine to McLaren or Williams might be a joy to watch in the future.
Although they are still involved in the Dieselgate scandal, it will not stop Audi from reaching further. With immense racing history and a new era is approaching Formula One. Audi might be joining the sport not far from now.
They have the facility, the staffs to do the job. But to throw an immense amount of money into a project this big. It’s up to the team from Ingolstadt to decide and we might have a chance to see an Audi car in Formula One like countless of concept liveries designs like the ones from Sean Bull? Well, the future may holds.