Volkswagen has no history whatsoever in Formula 1, but that isn’t keeping it from contemplating a bid to provide engines to the teams.
No one’s sure what F1’s rulesmakers have in mind for the 2013 season and beyond, but there is some talk of adopting a “world engine” every team would use. VW says it has no interest in fielding an F1 team, but if the Fédération Internationale del l’Automobile adopts a world engine, VW could make a play to provide it.
“It is clear we are looking at Formula 1. We are waiting for the FIA’s decision in respect of the use of a world engine for Formula 1,” VW motorsport director Hans-Joachim Stuck told Auto Bild magazine. “If there is [a world engine], we will discuss whether to build it for Formula 1.”
Former FIA boss Max Mosley proposed last year adopting a “world engine” that could be used in Formula 1, the World Rally Championship and other categories. The idea is to reign in costs — something Mosley pursued with fanatical zeal — and have teams spend their development dollars on other areas, like increasing efficiency.
Speculation focuses on a small-displacement turbocharged four-cylinder engine, possibly with an improved version of the kinetic energy recovery systems the teams experimented with last year. Such an engine would be a natural for Volkswagen, which uses four-cylinder turbodiesels in several models. And it isn’t like VW, Europe’s largest automaker, doesn’t have the capacity to crank them out in volume.
Whether the idea flies remains to be seen. As Inside Line notes, none of the manufacturers competing in F1 have expressed any interest in the world engine idea. It’s hard to see Ferrari, Renault or Mercedes-Benz agreeing to put Volkswagen engines in their F1 cars.
Photo: Daimler. Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg placed third in the China Grand Prix.