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Volkswagen: F1 not on our agenda now

Volkswagen will not enter Formula 1 for the foreseeable future until it settles on consistent sporting and technical regulations.
The Volkswagen Group will not enter Formula 1 for the foreseeable future until it settles on consistent sporting and technical regulations, according to motorsport boss Wolfgang Durheimer.

After the latest update on F1's regulations was approved by the FIA on Wednesday Volkswagen has confirmed all of its subsidiaries and marques will steer clear of the sport, with Durheimer citing the lack of consistent regulations does not providing it with a stable platform for VW to invest in.

Volkswagen had been discussing a possible move into F1 as an engine supplier to Red Bull midway through last year while the Milton Keynes-based outfit searched for a new power unit having fallen out with Renault.

At the time VW were considering an introduction for 2017 but that has now been binned after the publication of the latest regulation updates.

“Formula 1 is not on our agenda right now,” Durheimer told autocar. “The situation is not predictable enough to make the kind of investment required. On the regulations front, there are a lot of rumours around the engine side and the supporting technology side.

“Before you commit the kind of money needed you must see five years of rules stability – there can't be the possibility of rules changes, of more or less engine cylinders coming in, or the hybrid system changing away from technology you are developing on road cars.”

Volkswagen has also criticised the current ownership and controlling powers of F1 by explaining without stable owners and methodical ruling it creates an uneasy environment.

“On the ownership side, there are also big questions the sport must answer,” Durheimer added. “If you are a big business making a big investment you expect to have some influence on the set-up, with an assurance the present ownership will last. In F1, it seems the owners will not be there forever and that creates some instability.”

Volkswagen currently competes in the FIA World Rally Championship as reigning champions Volkswagen Motorsport, while its subsidiary brands Audi and reigning champions Porsche compete against one another in the LMP1 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

VW also supplies engines and parts in the FIA European Formula 3 championship and other junior single seater series.

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