Thursday, January 20, 2022

Formula 1 News: Former VW Motorsport boss Capito says the Group is definitely entering the sport

Formula 1 News: Williams Racing's CEO Jost Capito says the VW Group is certainly entering the sport in 2026.


Formula 1 news: Another day, another piece of information revolving around the VW Group, its entry to F1, Audi-McLaren, Porsche-Red Bull-Williams. So then, what do we have here this time that is different from the past stories we have already heard? Something quite credible and interesting.

In a recent media interview, Jost Capito, the Team Principal, and CEO of Williams Racing stated that the VW Group wouldn’t be wasting time in doing what it is doing currently if it didn’t want to enter the sport. True story.

There have been numerous reports, rumors, facts, about either Audi or Porsche or even both joining the Formula 1 grid from 2026, the year when the new regs kick in. Although so far, nothing has been confirmed. The deadline is 15th December, so not too long ago before we get the confirmation from the WMSC.

There were some serious talks going around just recently that Audi had bought the entire McLaren Group, but the same was then denied by Woking. One would think it was the end, I, on the other hand, don’t think so. Why, keep reading!

Formula 1 news: Just a matter of few more days

Ever since the Austrian GP round earlier this year, the reports have been gaining plenty of attention worldwide, and they even should because it is a pretty big deal for the sport. And from a business perspective, even bigger!

The former Head of Motorsport for VW says that the entry of the Group still depends on the engine regs in 2026. In all honesty, we already know that it was for Audi & Porsche that F1 decided to scrap the MGU-H altogether, so in that sense, the road’s pretty clear.

“If they have been serious – they have been part of the engine regulation discussions, and I don’t think they waste their time in going to these meetings, especially also the CEO coming to those meetings, and not being serious. But finally, it depends on what the final regulations are if then the Volkswagen Group thinks it makes sense, they might go to the board and ask for a decision.”

Formula 1 news: To the future

There is no shame in hiding away the fact that Formula 1 has grown into a business (much to the despair of drivers like Sebastian Vettel). It is not only focussing on the racing itself but also aiming to capture every type of audience it possibly can. What does it mean indirectly? Money, lots of it.

The way the sport has been developing over the past few years, the income generation is set to be huge. Quite huge to be honest. To put things into perspective, from what I have heard – F1 will generate an income of around $2 billion this year. The figure is similar to the 2019 year. Truth be told, kudos to F1 for staying profitable in a pandemic-hit world. But then again, it was always expected out of it – F1 ain’t no Indycar, Le Mans, or FE. F1 is motorsport.

All these months, one thing has been made pretty clear – it doesn’t matter how the VW Group enters the sport, what matters is that the VW Group is entering the sport. This ‘thing’ becomes more valid as pretty much every team wants Audi & Porsche to join F1.


McLaren is the prime team to work with as things currently stand. The McLaren Group as a whole isn’t quite making a lot of money, something that might just become an issue for its F1 operations. To hear that Audi is taking over Woking’s leadership makes a lot of sense. McLaren needs to pay the bills, needs to stay competitive. Audi has got the right elements, the resources to help McLaren do just that.

The more you think about it, the more you feel that it is going to be McLaren-Audi and no other team because then the relationship between the two would not only be limited to racing but its road-car division as well. Win-Win.

Porsche-Williams-Red Bull

Now, this one is quite the confusing one, I’ll be honest. Nobody knows which team is it going to be. I think, not even VW knows. With Willams, Porsche has Jost Capito, a man with several years of experience working for the Group. It has the freedom, it has the saying in matters, it has the liberty to test new ideas, be successful. And most importantly, learn.

On Red Bull’s side, it’s a touch-and-go. We all know that it’s Honda’s last year in F1. From next year, Red Bull will have its branding on its engines. Engines that will still run according to how Honda had planned them to be. In 2026, everybody (almost) has to hit the refresh button, and this is exactly where Porsche comes into the picture.

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s Advisor, has already mentioned how impactful it will be for Porsche and not Red Bull mind you, to join RB and partner the team to glory. The Austrian is not wrong, but I don’t think he’s correct, too.

When McLaren had signed Honda, it didn’t give the engine manufacturer time to learn, adapt to how the McLaren car worked, and so on. Ultimately, that partnership was called-off. Similarly, the Renault situation. Taking Woking’s example, I feel Red Bull would do the same thing to Porsche as well if it is decided that it will be Red Bull-Porsche. Again, that’s how I feel.

I have said it earlier, and I will keep on saying it again – I have an inner feeling which states that McLaren-Audi will ally, Williams will join hands with Porsche, and Red Bull will take up Mercedes’ engines. Could be a possibility. The wait for December 15 has just gotten tougher.


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