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Porsche Nears Formula 1 Contract, VW CEO Says

VW Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said Monday during a town hall meeting with local citizens in Wolfsburg, Germany, that Porsche’s plans are “quite concrete.” While Diess did not disclose any additional information, the manufacturer of the Porsche sports vehicle is said to be in negotiations with Red Bull Racing about forming a partnership.

According to him, the sister brand Audi’s Formula 1 proposal, which has involved negotiations with British sports car maker McLaren Group, hasn’t progressed to decisions on parameters for such a venture or which team to join.

According to both premium brands, Formula 1 is the most important lever to boost brand value, Diess said. With the plans for a bigger presence in China and the U.S., the attraction as the biggest motor-racing spectacle is only going to grow.

Last month, VW’s supervisory board endorsed a campaign for luxury auto brands to enter the competition as early as 2026. As part of a plan to become carbon neutral by the end of the decade, Formula 1 intends to switch to synthetic fuels from the same year. The advancement in technology provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in a Mercedes-dominated field.

There’s now a technology window to become a part of this, Diess said. Otherwise the next option is probably a decade away.

He said that both Porsche and Audi have begun development on F1 engines, but that the board’s decision to allow formal negotiations was not unanimous. VW is pursuing the industry’s largest electric car rollout, including Audi’s aim to only develop new battery-powered models starting in 2026.

The companies were successful in providing a “positive business case” for entering the sport, with Diess stating that “with Formula 1 we get more money out of Stuttgart and Ingolstadt than without Formula 1.”

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