VOLKSWAGEN HAS HINTED it is considering the possibility of making a foray into Formula 1, following Daimler?s decision to increase its investment in the sport.
While three manufacturers have exited F1 in the last 12 months, citing financial reasons, Volkswagen believes the incoming budget cutbacks actually make the sport a more enticing proposition than ever.
However, Europe's biggest carmaker said it would not be looking to launch its own factory squad, stating the company would only consider becoming an engine supplier, similar to Renault in the mid 90s.
Volkswagen spokesperson, Hans-Joachim Stuck, told Autosport: ?If you're the world's largest manufacturer is natural that we're thinking about [Formula 1], but not before 2012.
?We're looking for innovative things, and Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. Two years ago there was some talk that Volkswagen is going to buy the Red Bull F1 team, which we didn't need to buy. Why should we stick with one team if we can give our engines to more teams?
?If you buy Red Bull and Adrian Newey wants to go flying or fishing, the team is not successful any more. Look at BMW. They bought this multi-million dollar wind tunnel and a supercomputer and they now close the doors. Building an engine and providing it to a team is the best way.?
With four new teams entering the sport next year, F1 is set to enter a new era free of excessive manufacturer involvement; a situation Stuck believes would be attractive to Volkswagen.
He said: ?Now it's amazing; Formula 1 goes the right way. Many manufacturers have pulled out, which I think is a great deal, because we have manufacturers that we don't know for how long they will do it.
?They should become engine manufacturers and then lease the engine, sell the engine or give it to somebody. Then you lose all the hassle with teams, wind tunnels, engineers, you know.?