Volkswagen will enter Formula 1 in 2026 with the Porsche and Audi brands. It is indeed possible to risk the assumption that the Germans will make a great mess of the stakes. The company, which fled motorsports due to the diesel scandal, now wants to promote itself through F1.
Press materials / Pixabay / renehesse / Pictured: Volkswagen
It was in September 2015, when it became known that Volkswagen was installing software in its cars that would allow the results of exhaust emissions measurements to be manipulated. In road conditions, Volkswagen cars emit 40 times more harmful gases than official tests showed. The deal covered about 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Dieselgate rocked the Wolfsburg-based company, which decided to radically change its face in order to improve its image. Overnight, Volkswagen left the WRC rally, in which it won series championships, because company bosses decided that rally competition was not compatible with Volkswagen’s new eco-style. In addition, $7.3 billion was found in the budget to fix emissions problems and modify cars already produced.
Volkswagen executives in Germany and the United States admitted fraud, CEO Martin Winterkorn lost his job as a result of the scandal, and the company’s shares on the stock exchange began to decline. The company also paid compensation to US customers. In Poland, UOKiK imposed a huge fine on the German producer – it reached a record 120,607,288 zlotys.
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Nobody remembers the scandal anymore
After a few years, few people remember the Diesel Jet. The scandal only caused a short-lived crisis at Volkswagen, and customers did not turn their backs on the German brand and eagerly returned to showrooms for more Golf, Passat or T-Roc models. Monday’s announcement by the Volkswagen chief of entering Formula 1 should be seen as a symbolic end to this, and it will happen in 2026, with the arrival of new engines.
Volkswagen wants to promote the Porsche and Audi brands through Formula 1. The former has been absent for 30 years, and the latter has never competed in the queen of motorsports before. – Formula 1 is developing very intensively all over the world – this is how Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, explained the group’s decision during a meeting with employees.
Germany aspires to become the largest car producer in the world. It would not be possible to surpass Toyota in terms of car sales without acquiring new markets. Therefore, entering F1 is a very important decision. Discipline is developing due to new regulations, Netflix is gaining popularity in the US, and Guanyu Zhou is interested in racing in Asia. After all, China has its first driver in F1.
If you want to get involved in motorsport, you should start in F1. There, all the marketing and promotional impact is the greatest – Des pointed out clearly.
The German billionaire will have to wait until 2026 and strike a new tech deal to join the stake. Current hybrids will be a thing of the past in a few seasons. They will be replaced by units in which the electric motor will be more important. In addition, fuel consumption will be reduced, which will eventually be synthetic. So Volkswagen will be able to continue promoting itself as an eco brand, not forgetting the Diesel Jet.
Work is already underway
Dies told workers on Monday that if VW didn’t dare enter Formula 1 in 2026, another opportunity wouldn’t come soon. This is because engines tend to develop longer. We must assume that these will be with us for at least a decade.
“You need a new engine to join F1, and it takes three or four years to develop,” said the VW Group chief.
Porsche collaborates with Red Bull Racing. On Monday, there were rumors that the Stuttgart-based company was even ready to take over a 50 per cent stake. Team posts from Milton Keynes. Audi is looking for a partner after the McLaren takeover, worth 650 million euros, ended in fiasco. Aston Martin, Williams and Alfa Romeo (Sauber) want to cooperate with the manufacturer Ingolstadt.
You can indeed risk the hypothesis of Volkswagen’s success and it will threaten the F1 tycoons under the Mercedes or Ferrari brand. Audi alone had to prepare about 1 billion euros for the program related to the queen of motorsports. Historically, it must also be admitted that if Volkswagen appeared in motorsport, it was a success. He’s won the WRC, won the Dakar Rally, and has no peer in the WEC endurance race.
We assume that Formula 1 will continue to be the biggest spectacle in the world of motorsports in the years 2026-2028. Even bigger than now. F1 will be more popular in China, and it will be louder in the United States. Dess said it’s the perfect marketing platform for luxury cars.
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