The Volkswagen Audi Group’s potential entry into Formula One in 2018 could be a non starter with reports emerging today that their CEO Dr Martin Winterkorn has been axed from his position following the news that the company had been cheating the US emissions procedures.
Dr Winterkorn who himself took over from Ferdinand Peich earlier this year was a key supporter of the Volkswagen Audi Group AG entering Formula One in the future. In fact a reported €300 million bid to buy out the Red Bull Racing team was defeated by Peich earlier this year.
Speculation in the Singapore paddock last weekend suggested that Volkswagen under the Audi name would enter Formula One as a works team taking over the Red Bull Racing team from 2018 with Red Bull remaining as a title sponsor.
The report emerged as news broke that a Red Bull/Renault divorce announcement is imminent while Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner had stated that any link up with Volkswagen was at least three years away. It is believed that the Milton Keynes bases outfit are in talks with Ferrari with a view to receiving Ferrari power units until VW were ready to enter F1.