The VW Group will not enter Formula 1 while question marks remain over the sport’s ownership and technical rules, says the group’s motorsport boss
In September, Volkswagen were close to agreeing to take over Red Bull, before the VW emissions scandal led to the resignation of CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Last year, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said the sport could be sold and also wants to get rid of hybrid engines.
“Formula 1 is not on our agenda right now,” said Wolfgang Durheimer.
“The situation is not predictable enough to make the kind of investment required. Before you commit the kind of money needed you must see five years of rules stability,” Durheimer told Autocar.
This season, teams have agreed changes to qualifying to increase unpredictability and talks are ongoing to make cars faster in 2017.
“There can’t be the possibility of rules changes, of more or less engine cylinders coming in, or the hybrid system changing away from technology you are developing on road cars,” he added.
“If you are a big business making a big investment you expect to have some influence on the set-up, with an assurance the present ownership will last. In F1, it seems the owners will not be there forever and that creates some instability.”
In other F1 news
Hamilton says Formula 1 rule changes will have little effect
World champion Lewis Hamilton says planned changes to qualifying for this season will not have much effect.
“I don’t really feel like it is going to change much.”
A new elimination-based system will be introduced for the 2016 season, which starts next month, if teams given it the go-ahead in the next few days.
Williams driver Felipe Massa added that the plan could cause “chaos”.
The idea is to retain the current system of three parts of qualifying, but eliminate one driver at a time through each of the sessions.
This would result in a 90-second shoot-out for pole position between two drivers.
“I don’t know if it I like it or not,” added Massa. “I need to have a little bit of time to sit down and understand the rules, understand the change.
“The only thing I understand is that they want to create some chaos – and this will happen for sure.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo agreed with Hamilton.
“I don’t know how much it’s going to change,” he said.
“It might put a little bit more pressure on us to execute the lap early in the session because after five minutes or something they’re going to start ticking them off.”
Hydraulic leak curtails McLaren’s running on day three
McLaren was forced to end its running after 51 laps on day three of pre-season testing due to a hydraulic leak.
Jenson Button was at the wheel of the MP4-31 on Wednesday and had enjoyed a largely productive morning following Fernando Alonso’s 119 laps on Tuesday. However, the 2009 world champion then stopped at the end of the pit lane early in the afternoon, causing the pit lane to be closed while running continued on track.
Racing director Eric Boullier confirmed a hydraulic leak was the cause, and while he downplayed the severity of the stoppage at the time, McLaren was unable to run again and ended its day early.
Ecclestone welcomes F1 changes after ‘wake-up’ call
Ecclestone says the sport faces a brighter future after teams agreed a new qualifying format from this season, even if he had sought a more radical approach to liven up racing.
Speaking to Reuters two days after he said current F1 was the worst it had ever been and he would not buy tickets for his family to watch races, the 85-year-old sounded a much more positive note.
“I think now I’d be a bit more confident that we are going to see some good racing,” he said in a telephone interview. “Then I’ll be happy.”
Ecclestone said teams, who agreed the new qualifying format on Tuesday, had finally woken up and taken a step in the right direction with more change to come.
“I think there’s lots of things we can do and will be doing,” he said.
“What people needed was a bit of a shake up. I seem to be the only person that has thought we should do something in Formula One, to wake everybody up a little bit. And maybe that’s what’s happened.
“I wasn’t talking down the sport at all, quite the opposite. I was trying to sort of explain that unless we did something that’s the way we’d be going.”
TJ13- So you're the only person who thought F1 needed a shake up Mr E??! What about the fans?
Marko praises new RB12 “The best Red Bull ever”
TJ13 - The good Dr claims they've been conservative with their testing and the chassis reacts extremely well to changes already. He and Horner even praise Renault for their work thus far and claim by the European leg they'll start to get a significant power increases.
It rains in Bahrain?
TJ13- Some say it usually rains something a different colour but yesterday it appears the Middle Eastern state circuit got wet.
— Bahrain Int. Circuit (@BAH_Int_Circuit) February 24, 2016
Summary of proposed 2017 bodywork changes
From Reddit user /Wrenny
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Bernie and Max discuss modern F1 and where it’s gone wrong in an astonishing interview.