Williams ‘would be happy to talk’ if VW enter F1

Mark Scott
Williams boss Jost Capito on the phone. September Zandvoort 2021

Williams would welcome the potential arrival of VW to Formula 1, saying they would be “open to talk” to the German manufacturer.

Formula 1 are looking to attract fresh names to the sport via new engine regulations which are set to be introduced ahead of the 2026 season.

Top of the rumoured names are Volkswagen, the parent company of both Audi and Porsche who have both been strongly linked with joining the sport as independent parties.

McLaren were recently forced to deny rumours that Audi were set to agree a complete takeover of McLaren Racing, which included taking full control of the team’s Formula 1 operations.

While that was quickly denied, there is no secret that advanced discussions are taking place at high levels with a view to both Audi and Porsche joining Formula 1 in some capacity – whether as fully-fledged teams or independent engine manufacturers for existing Formula 1 teams.

The latter option certainly appears to be of interest to Williams – currently supplied engines by Mercedes – and, it is really no surprise considering the VW connections already run deep within the team.

“I know there is speculation that Audi and Porsche could join,” Williams team boss Jost Capito, who oversaw four World Rally Championship successes as motorsport director of VW, told Sport1.

“But the new engine regulations have not yet been finally approved, so there can be no decision yet.

“If it happens then, we are happy to talk. But first we have to put ourselves in a sporting position.

“I can only say that Formula 1 is booming again. That, in combination with the planned new hybrid engine with a higher electric share and biofuel from 2026, is of course also interesting for manufacturers.

“In addition, there is the budget constraint. That way, the finances don’t get out of hand.”

 

Capito also touched on the strong VW connection when asked whether the lessons learned during his time in the World Rally Championship could be transferred across to Formula 1.

“You can take a lot more from other sports than many people think,” he said.

“Formula 1 is a bubble, so it can only be good to bring an outside perspective.

“When it comes to team building and team motivation, it doesn’t matter in which series you are active.

“You have to have the right people on board everywhere. And I think that with our new technical director François-Xavier Demaison, our advisor Willy Rampf and our new sporting director Sven Smeets, who came with me from VW, we are already well positioned.”

 

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