Rumors about Audi’s involvement in Formula 1 are starting to emerge once again.
Formula 1 is the jewel of the motorsport crown, and making it there means instant recognition, acknowledgement and honor.
This is partly due to the discipline’s long and illustrious history, blemished with success, failure, integrity, dishonesty, respect, contempt and even death. Through its 65 years of saga, Formula 1 was a roller coaster, captivating millions with its unique character, style and fast changing pace. So, you can realize the level of prominence and esteem it can infuse upon a driver, a team, or a manufacturer.
That’s why Audi, apparently, pushes forward to be part of the savage world of F1. Don’t get me wrong, the sport itself is wonderful, but it’s a jungle. Citing sources close to the Ingolstadt board, the German magazine Auto Bild reported that Audi wants to participate in the prestigious worldwide phenomenon, as a senior Audi manager stated:
“Market research has recently confirmed once again the significance of F1. The rub-off effects are substantial; we see enormous potential for the brand once the race series invents itself in 2018.”
Apparently, the board of directors intends to go ahead with the project dated for 2018 and place it in the hands of Stefano Domenicali (that’s if Volkswagen’s “Diselgate” scandal didn’t ruin any plans). Moreover, the magazine reports that a “mole” from Audi said that if all goes as planned, the German car maker will team up with Red Bull:
“If all goes according to plan, this commitment is going to be virtually cost-neutral. The biggest chunk of the up-front investment will be provided by a bunch of Middle East entrepreneurs. Instead of pedalling a marque or a specific product, they want to tap the commercial opportunities new F1 is offering. The idea is to use the Red Bull team as a door opener. Why Red Bull? Because of their success and experience, because of their top-class infrastructure and of course also because of the pending sponsorship agreement.”
But what will happen to Audi’s involvement in other motorsport activities? Well, even with sponsorship and up-front investment, Formula 1 is a very, very expensive habitat and will most likely be the end of Audi in Le Mans and DTM.
Or at least that’s what the speculations say, as Audi continues to strongly deny these claims. In fact an Audi spokesman called the report “pure speculation which requires no further comment” and discredited the withdrawal from DTM and WEC rumor.
Source: Auto Bild, via Car Magazine