Germany carmaker giant Volkswagen has played down speculation that it is considering a move into F1 in some capacity as early as 2015, saying that it was concentrating its motor sports efforts on the World Rally Championship for the time being.
"Entering F1 is not an issue for us right now," Volkswagen marketing and communications boss Stefan Moser told German tabloid newspaper Sport Bild
. "Nothing has changed since our last statement."
Volkswagen has previously ruled out entering F1 as a manufacturer team under its own name, leading to speculation that it could use one of its subsidiary brands such as Audi to badge an independent F1 team operation.
More likely however is the suggestion that Volkswagen would enter as a chassis manufacturer or else buy into an existing F1 team, with Sauber being the prime candidate for the latter option.
Team boss Peter Sauber recently refused to comment on reports that he had met with Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year with a view to discussing a partnership arrangement in F1.
Speculation about the link-up was sparked by the arrival of Jost Capito as Volkswagen's head of motorsport. Capito was an executive and chief operating officer at the Sauber F1 for five years from 1996-2001.
German motorsports magazine Speedweek
reported last week that the Wolfsburg-based group saw the possible alliance with Sauber as a stepping stone into the sport, as they seek to renew their ongoing sporting rivalry with fellow German car giant Mercedes.
Involvement in F1 could be a major strategic move for the manufacturer as it seeks to develop markets in China, Brazil, Russia and the USA.