Audi interest in F1 discussed by Strategy Group


It is believed a potential Formula 1 foray for the Volkswagen Group was discussed on Thursday during the high-profile Strategy Group meeting.

Reports the VW brand Audi could enter the sport have been growing in recent weeks and days.

Ralf Bach, a well-known German-language paddock correspondent, wrote on his blog that Audi would only consider a foray if there is engine rules stability.

However, all the talk recently has been about Bernie Ecclestone wanting to drastically shake up the rules for 2017, bringing more power and noise.

F1’s other engine manufacturers are all also keen to know the plans for the future, given that – on paper – the existing rules are set to be in place until 2020.

Red Bull supplier Renault, in particular, is currently engaged in a wholesale re-think of its approach to F1.

“Insiders say carrying on as they (Renault) are now is unlikely,” wrote Bach.

Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost, however, this week played down the likelihood of a team buyout by Renault, even though a yellow rebranding of the Faenza-made cars remains a possibility.

Bach claims Renault has even been approached by Lotus, whose owner Gerard Lopez reportedly offered to give the team to Renault for four years so long as Enstone is then returned ‘debt-free’ in 2020.

“Renault is said to have rejected the offer,” he added.

Lotus chief executive Matthew Carter said on Thursday that the team’s former supplier Renault is undoubtedly “evaluating its role within F1” at the moment.

But “My shareholders have said quite specifically that the team isn’t for sale,” Carter told a sports business conference organised by the Telegraph newspaper.