Recently, we wrote that Audi seemed poised to enter Formula One—but now we know those rumors were just that.
As late as last week, current Audi chief Rupert Stadler wouldn’t confirm or deny any ambitions to enter the prestigious series. But earlier today, he shut the door on the prospect.
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Details come via Reuters, which cites an official Audi communication along with a German newspaper, which quoted Stadler as stating that «Formula One needs to solve its problems on its own.»
While there’s plenty of passion for racing at Audi—which campaigns the WEC, in DTM, in the VLN, and in Formula E—the company is clearly thinking with its head and not heart here. Because given the enormous expense of an F1 team, the complaints about the sound of the new turbocharged engines, and Bernie Ecclestone’s autocratic management, it’s easy to see the sport as a recipe for diminishing returns.
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Although management can change and priorities can always be shifted, for the foreseeable future, Audi fans will have to accept a lack of open-wheeled cars bearing the four rings.
They’ll just have to settle for almost-certain victory at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.