Audi questions sense of Formula 1 for car manufacturers 5 July, 2013 375 Audi have dominated Le Mans in recent years Audi chairman Rupert Stadler has played down suggestions that a Formula 1 project should be considered by the Volkswagen-owned German carmaker. Audi’s repeat successes at the fabled Le Mans 24 hour race has sparked suggestions the Ingolstadt-based marque might now consider F1, particularly as the sport has now embraced modern engine and energy-recovery technology. So chairman Rupert Stadler was asked by the German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche whether Audi or the similarly VW-linked Porsche might consider F1 after Le Mans. He answered: “It’s an interesting thought but, believe me, that’s not how the world of motor sport functions. “We ask ourselves, particularly in these days, whether it makes sense to be in F1. “Up to 90 per cent of everything discussed [in F1] is not about the manufacturers, but about the drivers. “Much is also talked about the tyres, and also the losers are discussed a lot, with pleasure. “Only every now and then the involved automakers come into play, and not usually in a positive light,” Stadler added. (GMM) Subbed by AJN. JR Audi like to be a big team in a little pond … They couldn’t cut it in F1. KevinW Audi does not need F1. In fact, neither does Mercedes or Renault, BMW, VW or Porsche. One could even question the value of F1 for Ferrari, who have other venues, including the WEC to show off their real products. They remain out of tradition, not necessity, perhaps adding credibility to F1, not the other way around. McLaren and Williams could be classified as the only two who have more at stake as providers of technologies to F1 and beyond, where GP racing showcases and elevates them as a brand. With each step forward in technology restriction, spec racer form, crap tire, fake passing aid gadgetry, F1 has become an irrelevant sport contained within its own bubble as a marketing scheme of its own – an entertainment. There is nothing here a company like Audi needs. Tom Riddle He is right. Formula 1 used to be a development sport where the benefits of the latest technology, e.g. turbocharging, active suspension, etc., was passed down to production cars. Nowadays it is so tied up in it’s own self worth and restricted by so many rules and regulations it makes you wonder why half the teams are there at all. They no longer benefit from anything in Formula 1 except brand exposure and they can do that with far less expensive advertising campaigns. I have been an avid F1 fan since the late ’70s but F1 is starting to alienate it’s fans and the benefits are being seen less and less.