Audi is still too far from Formula 1
Red Bull Racing’s frustration with Renault engines fuelled speculations about Audi’s entry into Formula 1. After four consecutive titles, the sport’s change in regulations from V8 to turbo V6 powerplants in 2014 seems to have been unsuccessful for Red Bull in maintaining its winning streak.
The team officials have accused engine supplier Renault for being too slow in modifying the engine and that is why they have started to look for a new partner.
Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko confirmed that they were contacting Audi, but denied that any deal has been made, stating that the team could withdraw from the competition if it fails to find a new engine supplier as soon as possible.
Audi, which is part of the Volkswagen group, is still considering its options. In the previous years, it categorically refused to be involved in Formula 1, mainly because of chairman Ferdinand Piech’s dislike of the sport and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. But, there could be light at the end of the tunnel now, with Piech no longer filling the role of chairman after he was the causality of a boardroom coup.
Audi stated that it is looking at the possibility to joining Formula 1, but it will first have to consider all its options. When asked if Audi would be competing in the next five years, chairman Rupert Stadler answered that he can’t say for sure: “It’s something we’re looking at, but then we’re always looking at it and many other things. But I can’t say yes or no.”
Audi has a huge experience in racing, but once it was believed that VW Group could select Porsche as their F1 choice as the maker of 911 has its own experience in the competition before it quit a decade ago. It is believed that Audi might take long to make a decision and if it choosees to step into Formula 1, it almost surely won’t be ready until 2021 which could be too long for Red Bull.
In the meantime, the Formula 1 Strategy group discussed in it’s last meeting, the possiblities of Audi’s entry. It is known that Ecclestone wants to shake up rules and bring more power and noise in the Formula 1, but still doesn’t have a strict plan. Engine manufacturers are keen to know the plans for the future and that could be most important for Audi. Unofficially, its main request before the foray is the stability of the engine rules.
Also, lets not forget that Formula 1 is desperately looking for some fresh blood and Audi undoubtedly could provide that.