Autocar reported on Monday morning that a source had revealed Audi had acquired the entire McLaren Group in a move that would open the door for the German manufacturer to enter F1. On Sunday evening, Reuters reported Audi was “open to cooperation opportunities”. 

But McLaren has since responded to the Autocar report, issuing a very strong denial and requesting for the story to be removed. 

“McLaren Group is aware of a news media report stating it has been sold to Audi. This is wholly inaccurate and McLaren is seeking to have the story removed.

“McLaren’s technology strategy has always involved ongoing discussions and collaboration with relevant partners and suppliers, including other carmakers, however, there has been no change in the ownership structure of the McLaren Group.”

The report comes amid intensifying rumours that the Volkswagen Group is preparing an entry into F1 via its Audi and Porsche brands to coincide with new engine regulations that are set to be introduced from 2026. 

While Audi has been linked with a potential collaboration with McLaren, it has been reported that Porsche is seriously considering entering F1 as a powertrain partner to an existing team, most likely with Red Bull. 

F1 is trying to convince the VW Group to commit to building a new power unit for the regulations which have been specifically designed to attract new OEMs into the sport.