Volkswagen ambassador and former Formula One driver Hans-Joachim Stuck says the German auto giant is flirting with the idea of becoming an F1 engine supplier. “If you’re the world’s largest manufacturer is natural that we’re thinking about [F1], but not before 2012,” he said.
New rules which are set to change the way the sport is run are attractive to a company like Volkswagen. Speaking to Autosport, Stuck explains, “We’re looking for innovative things, and Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. Two years ago there was some talk that Volkswagen is going to buy the Red Bull F1 team, which we didn’t need to buy. Why should we stick with one team if we can give our engines to more teams?”
Stuck believes that purchasing a team is too costly and doesn’t suit a large manufacturer, whereas the ability to be a supplier for multiple teams has more appeal for all involved, “It’s like Formula 1 in my days. We had March, we had Lotus, and we had Ford engines. Then Renault came in as engine manufacturer, with a formidable engine. This was perfect.
“I followed Formula One for the last seven years with BMW and I always asked myself on the grid, with only 20 cars, what if we could have 30 cars? Now we’re getting back to this.”
While F1 is the ultimate, Volkswagen has enjoyed success in feeder categories of late, as well as being the current Dakar Rally champions. Of more relevance, are the British and German F3 titles recently won by Volkswagen powered cars.