Amid a rumour that Audi are about to abandon their Formula 1 project, word is if that does indeed happen Porsche may step into the fold again.
Following Audi’s trend of culling everything motorsport, from the DTM and GT3, to its Formula E program, its stillborn LMDh prototype sports car racing project and even giving its wild Dakar project the bullet after January’s 2024 race, rumour has had it that the Four Rings’ F1 project is on the skids.
Audi has of course already started to buy into the Sauber F1 team, to establish its own team to run the new F1 power units it is building at a German facility. But all of that, and all those racing projects, were established on former Audi CEO Markus Duesmann’s watch. Now VW’s supersonic revolving office door as ushered in a new boss, Gernot Döllner.
And it seems Herr. Döllner may just have other ideas on racing. Rumours have flown that Audi will renege on its F1 plans after all. Even if Ingolstadt’s propaganda machine was quick to try to pour cold water on it all. “The media coverage is a rumour and absolutely untrue,” a PR suit insisted this week. “Audi’s Formula 1 plan remains unchanged.”
Is Audi about to ditch F1?
“Audi’s Formula 1 entry in 2026 is based on a decision of the Board of Audi AG in alignment with the Supervisory Board of Audi AG. As well as the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Group,” the statement went on, going on to confirm that Audi continues at pace with preparations and development of the new engine.
Based on previous such shallow denials that were closely followed by Toyota, Honda, Renault, and many other carmakers exiting F1 over the years, there however remains every probability that the spokesman’s bosses will just go over his head and cut the program. ‘Tis what bosses do.
But wait! What about Porsche? Porsche’s parallel plans on a grandiose return of course fell apart after being jilted by Red Bull Racing at the F1 altar. Horner, Marko & Co. ran off to get busy with Ford. Porsche was later snubbed by Williams, McLaren, and Aston Martin. So Zufferhausen put its own F1 plans on ice.
Will Porsche take over Audi’s F1 plans?
Now with Audi seemingly on the cusp of writing its F1 Dear Johnny letter, it appears that Porsche could very well pick up Audi’s F1 Project in toto. Take over the engine project, standing in for its sister and eventually wed Sauber to run the show.
Stranger things have happened in F1. This one not only seems to make a whole lot of sense, but it could be a godsend for all concerned.
Big Question: What do you think about the Audi exit rumours? Just that? Or there is some credibility to them?