According to the BBC, the Volkswagen Group is currently conducting a feasibility study into entering Formula One.
Reports claims that the study is being led by Stefano Domenicali who left his role as team principal at Ferrari in favour of a position at Audi. The Volkswagen Group is apparently interested in entering the F1 paddock following the success of Mercedes this season.
Before anything could happen however, BBC claims that management changes at either VW or F1 would have to be implemented because of a strained relationship between VW’s Ferdinand Piech as well as F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone.
During 2014, estimates claim that the global advertising value for Mercedes-Benz totalled around $2.8 billion because of the widespread popularity of Formula One. By comparison, the Volkswagen Group’s participation with Audi and Porsche in the World Endurance Championship, Audi in DTM and Volkswagen in WRC had a reported advertising value of $30 million.
While discussing the potential of Volkswagen entering Formula One, BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan said, “The Volkswagen Audi Group is the second biggest car maker in the world and as such it needs to be in Formula 1. But it will not enter it while the sport remains under the control of Bernie Ecclestone, who VAG boss Ferdinand Piech dislikes on a personal and professional basis.
“Martin Winterkorn – the chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen – is being groomed as Piech’s successor and he has always believed that F1 is a great platform for the group’s brands. I am told he privately believes VAG should be a part of F1. If VAG did come to F1, I believe it would be with their own team, with the car designed and made in Germany,” Jordan said.