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Audi would strengthen F1 as a platform - Wolff

  • Published on 25 Sep 2015 09:25
  • comments 4
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Mercedes says it would welcome Audi to formula one. As Red Bull desperately seeks an alternative after splitting with Renault, rumours suggest the Volkswagen Group is now eyeing a project for its Audi brand.

The sting in those rumours has been blunted by the international VW diesel emissions scandal, but Mercedes - having ruled out working with Red Bull - says Audi would be good for F1. "Another great manufacturer, and one of such high quality, is definitely in our interest," Mercedes' F1 chief Toto Wolff told Germany's Sport Bild. "It would strengthen formula one as a platform," he insisted.

Mercedes team chairman and F1 legend Niki Lauda agrees: "Each new opponent is good for the sport." It is suggested that one reason for Mercedes and Ferrari's reluctance to supply Red Bull next year is nervousness that Audi will come in for 2018, benefitting from knowledge of the earlier engine collaboration. (GMM)

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  • ianf1

    Posts: 185

    I think the Mercedes and Ferrari 'nervousness' is also based upon the treatment that they have seen Renault receive from Red Bull... RB are high maintenance, and not to be taken on lightly.
    Also, do people really think that Audi would do better than Honda in their first year (if they entered the sport)? Can't see RB having the patience of Mclaren can you?

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2015 - 09:54
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Not sure, think it more performance based. Yes I think that Audi would do a better job, since they have already a lot of background in hybrid engines. From what I understand its the sizing of specific external engine parts causing the issue from Honda.

      I do think that the whole engine thing with RB is a bit strange. You wouldn't think that a team like RB would do something like this without having a good exit strategy. Also I am very surprised about the reasoning of Mercedes; Are they saying that the likes of Williams can't build a chassis that is as good as theirs? I think that Bernie needs to put a framework in place for engine supplies, otherwise the likes of Williams, Sauber, Force India, Haas, TR, RB and manor will never be in a place to consistanly score podiums.

      Mercedes seem to want to protect their Championship team, however as an engine provider I don't think you should be allowed to pick and choose teams that you want to provide.

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2015 - 12:59
    • They could very well do better, although I sincerely doubt their PU would be entirely without it's own set of quirk: even Merc's own superior unit has some which hasnt been fixed yet. And yes, Honda is suffering from a compact design, they are apparently discussing whether they can change bits of that to make the engine "roomier" for the next to help reliability.

      RB did a blind one here and try to get back in control with threats, it seems. As for Merc's statement... customer teams do generally have a harder time building a competitive chassis, due to economic factors and the fact they wont know how the engine is sized until the supplier gives out details. Thus, Mercedes' works team has a huge advantage compared to their customer teams: it has a huge budget and know right off the bat how the engine will look like and what they need from the car, and how to compensate for any potential quirks.

      Wind tunnels will however be banned soon, might not help on the engine side, but it will reduce costs for teams and might even help teams like Williams to be more competitive, as Merc' and Red Bull rely heavily on wind tunnels for their chassis development.

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2015 - 14:56
    • khasmir

      Posts: 893

      I don't think we'll see a VW brand in F1 anytime soon:
      1. They have other, bigger and very costly issues to solve
      2. Seeing how Honda is struggling is not helping to attract new engine suppliers

      Red Bull has links with VW and Audi in other racing leagues so maybe Merc does not want to get in the way of that. Just like they did not want to disrupt relations with the Renault/Nissan group.
      Again a lot of politics involved but I hope it will soon be clear what team will use witch PU.

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2015 - 19:12

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