Audi to leave WEC? Join F1 in 2016?


Now here’s a bit of news that will get your day started without caffeine. I believe this is one of the most exciting developments for F1 and the world of motorsport in general. German manufacturer Audi which participates in endurance events such as the German touring car championships and the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours are all set to say goodbye to endurance racing and instead will choose to compete in the pinnacle of open wheeled racing – F1.

Audi R18 e-tron Quattro pace

Audi’s R18 e-tron Quattro has been in indomitable form of late

This move has reportedly been in the works for quite some time now and is courtesy of Audi’s parent company Volkswagen, which is eager to combine its WEC and DTM budgets. This means that sister company Porsche will now handle endurance events and Audi will proceed to Formula 1. This move will also reignite the rivalry between Audi and Mercedes-Benz that ceased since WWII began.

There are several factors that hint that this is happening, like the signing of former Ferrari F1 team principal Stefano Domenicali this month, who has practically no experience in endurance events and does not speak German. The only plausible conclusion is his vast experience in F1 and close links to two-time world champion Fernando Alonso; which brings us to the next part. Alonso will quit Ferrari by the end of this season and still hasn’t signed on a team for next season. He might take a sabbatical next year and then join Audi in 2016 unless something else comes up in between.

Audi R18 e-tron Quattro

The R18 e-tron quattro has the distinction of being the first hybrid to win Le Mans 24 Hours

Audi is not keen to start from scratch in F1 and will look to acquire an existing team with favourites being Red Bull Racing or Toro Rosso. Red Bull is more likely, as the company and its founder share a historic relationship with Austria, similar to Volkswagen Group’s chairman Ferdinand Piech. Red Bull has also has been a long-time sponsor of Audi’s leading DTM team.

Audi has had no match in recent times as far as endurance events are concerned. It has been dominating Le Mans by gaining 13 victories since 2000 and is also close on the heels of Porsche’s 16 wins to become the most successful team in the legendary series. Its entry in F1 will stir up much interest and, I for one, am looking forward to that period. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments section below.

 

Source: AutoExpress UK

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