Could Audi make it's way to Formula 1?
That's the question on a lot of people's minds with the new engine regulations set forth for the 2013 season. Many new manufacturers have expressed interest in returning to or joining Formula 1 for the first time thanks to the new four cylinder turbocharged specifications. The Head of Volkswagen Motorsport, Kris Nissen, spoke in May 2010 about the potential for Volkswagen to consider entering Formula 1 and other racing series as a result of new regulations surrounding engine specifications. Now that FIA has announced the 2013 F1 regulations stipulating 1.6 liter four cylinder engines be used, it's now closer than ever to see VW enter the series.
Kim Stapleton, an architect and designer, has been interested in this potential for a while now. Beginning with a initial design study in 2007 and a recent update in early January 2011, she has undertaken a speculative project to investigate the possiblity of Audi joining Formula 1. Her exploration resulted in a concept for a car design based on the 2010 Red Bull Toro Rosso car in the images here. I sure like the design, and given Audi's involvment with Red Bull in other series, it seems like a perfect fit for the Torro Rosso team.
With the potential for international exposure and a chance to race Ferrari, Renault, and Mercedes, will VW push for Audi to be a new team in F1? What about Porsche, do they seem like a better fit for F1? Of course, any entry into F1 would effect the other racing series that these brands already compete in. Given Audi's dominating success in the American Le Mans Series (AMLS), who wouldn't expect them to come out wit. Of course the question must be asked, how would F1 directly benefit the brand, whether that be VW, Audi or Porsche? What about Lamborghini?