Although it has yet to succumb to the seemingly never-ending rumours linking it to a role in the top flight, Volkswagen has admitted that F1's new engine rules would be more attractive should it change its mind.
The German giant has long been seen as the marque that ought to be in grand prix racing - using any of its subsidiaries, including Porsche and Audi - but always pointed to its other motorsport activities, as well as the existing F1 regulations, as reasons for not making the leap to compete with the likes of Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes. However, following Friday's announcement from the World Motor Sport Council that F1 would be moving to 1.6-litre fuel-injected four-cylinder turbo engines in 2013, VW Motorsport's Hans-Joachim Stuck has conceded that the category now holds new possibilities.
"We welcome the decision," Stuck commented during the FIA Awards evening, "It is not only great news for F1, but for the whole of motorsport, as it takes the sport in the right direction environmentally.
“Of course, we have not decided anything [regarding F1], but the conditions for Volkswagen to possibly enter the category have now been created. The engine rules are a good starting point for Volkswagen.”
As recently as the start of December, new Porsche boss Matthias Mueller suggested that a return for the marque to F1 was unlikely, even if the iconic sportscar badge was the most obvious one for VW to use.
"F1 is a drivers' world championship, with the focus on the sponsors and the manufacturers only secondary," he told Germany's Westfalen Blatt
newspaper, "For us, this is a clear drawback for such a long-term investment, as is the unclear rules for the future. [However], if the VW Group was interested, then Porsche would surely be the brand that would work best for this."