Former F1 driver, sportscar ace and current Volkswagen Audi Group ambassador Hans Stuck has suggested that VW could be poised for a place on the grand prix grid.
Speaking to the Financial Times Deutschland
as part of an interview covering his own return to racing after severe head injuries sustained in a crash at the Nordschliefe, Stuck revealed that meetings had taken place to discuss the Group's potential part in F1's future. That in itself is no surprise, given that both Audi and, more recently, Porsche have both been linked to possible moves to the top flight, but direct VW branding would be unexpected.
"There is a strategy meeting in early November in which the procedure is to be discussed," was all Stuck would confirm, before also letting slip that the Group was considering an involvement in US-based stock car series NASCAR, where Audi DTM driver Matthias Ekstrom enjoyed a couple of outings earlier this season.
Porsche's possible return has been the subject of conversation for the past fortnight, bolstered by revelations from new chairman Matthias Müller that there would be a round-table discussion to potentially decide on that course of action, and claims from research and development director Wolfgang Durheimer that the involvement could be more than merely as an engine supplier.
“If Porsche was to go to F1, then it would only be with its own team, because you need complete control over all the competition-related factors, including the car and its technology,” he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
, “Porsche is a very profitable company; we can afford that.”
Porsche last appeared in F1 nearly 20 years ago, as an engine-supplier to Footwork, but previously ran a full works, with which America's Dan Gurney triumphed in the 1962 French Grand Prix at Rouen-Les-Essarts. Its greatest success came as an engine partner, however, particularly with McLaren
under the TAG banner, and a return to turbocharged engines in F1 is understood to be of particular interest to the marque, which has made a bigger name for itself in sportscars. With Audi also involved in endurance racing, however, VAG is understood to be considering moving Porsche back to F1 in order to spread its motorsport interests.