Surely most of you have been keeping up with the developments surrounding the ‘dieselgate’ scandal and the abdication of VW Group’s top man Martin Winterkorn from the top spot on the corporate ladder. Major reshuffling has been going on from within VAG, starting with Porsche’s ex-boss helming the company’s operations and Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing of Audi AG, Luca de Meo taking the top post at SEAT.
That’s just scratching the surface, but we’ll leave that for another time. Rewind the clock a couple of weeks and the headlines would’ve read “VW to buy stake in Red Bull Racing F1“. Mixed emotions filled the air as Europe’s biggest automobile conglomerate announced their interests to make an entrance into the pinnacle of motorsport that is Formula One.
During that juncture, BBC F1 Chief Analyst and ex-driver Eddie Jordan indicated that VW would not be using its own powertrains till the 2018 season but interestingly will be using Ferrari derived engines. VW is also poised to severe its relationship with powertrain partner, Renault, a whole year before the contracts are up.
Here’s something else to ponder on. As we all are aware, the VW Group owns many other car manufacturers such as Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti; just to name a few. But that being said, it was unclear which brand will be promoted as the team’s official make. VW would have become the fourth major manufacturer to partake in the upcoming season.
Sadly, Volkswagen’s dream of making an entrance to F1 is as the headline reads – up in smoke. VW is facing probable fines in excess of RM78 billion – enough to buy some of the poorest countries in the world. However, not everyone’s F1 dreams are down the flusher as Renault just announced that a Letter of Intent was recently signed, sealed and delivered to the Lotus F1 teams’ front door.
The team announced that Renault and Gravity Motorsports S.a.r.l. (an affiliate of Genii Capital SA) may potentially acquire a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team Ltd in the upcoming 2016 season. Both parties are reportedly working tirelessly to eventually turn this initial undertaking into a definitive transaction, provided all terms and conditions are met between them and other interested parties.