No BMW, No Toyota in F1…dust off those Audi rumors I guess

I recall seeing some speculation about McLaren and BMW over the last few weeks and if memory serves correctly, those were debunked by the team. The speculation and rumors seemed to be off the mark in my opinion as McLaren Automotive is not McLaren Racing and even with a powertrain project between the road car division and BMW may be an interesting opportunity, it doesn’t mean that Honda is on its way out of the racing division.

I was interested to see what Autosport said about BMW’s long-term view of Formula 1 now that it has new owners and they aren’t working with McLaren’s racing team.

“When we decided to pull out of Formula 1 in 2009 it was a long-term strategic decision of the company,” BMW told Autosport.

“We wanted to put some of the F1 resources into the research and development of alternative powertrain solutions – and so BMW did.

“We established ourselves as the leading premium car manufacturer in the field of electric mobility.

“We are watching the developments in the world of motorsport, but currently we have no plans to re-enter Formula 1.”

It is also known that BMW have a strong interest in the Formula E series as well as their GT racing program.

I did find the comment in the article by Lawrence Barretto of interest as I hadn’t read this before.

“Governing body the FIA hopes carmakers not currently involved in F1 can play a part in planned discussions to frame engine rules for beyond 2020, when the future of current engine formula will be up for discussion.”

I must have missed the FIA’s desire to seek other car manufacturers for a seat at the table to help define that future engine of the sport. I’m sure the new owners of F1 are interested in that fact as well as Ross Brawn who now heads up a technical side of the Liberty Media team.

This also bumped in to the very role Brawn is to play and last week’s commentary by former FIA president Max Mosley echoed my thoughts regarding Ross’s focus.

“He’ll be an enormous asset to them and that side [sporting] isn’t really what Liberty should be doing.

“Ross is outstanding so they made a good choice there.”

I’m still a little foggy on what the FIA and Liberty Media feel Ross’s role will be as far as helping define the future of F1 from a technical side and that’s most likely what Mosley’s comments are suggesting as well.

If the FIA are looking to carmakers to belly up to the table of F1 and help define the new engines, that seems to be a potential cost-spiral that I thought F1 wanted to avoid. It’s the very type of relationship that begat the current power unit as Mercedes and Renault were very strong forces in moving in that direction.

When you consider the hybrid power unit, it is intriguing that BMW left the sport in 2009 to focus on alternative powertrains. It makes you wonder why the F1 hybrid unit wasn’t appealing to them. An amazing piece of kit that is more alternative than anything they are running in other racing series save versus Formula E.

The article goes on to say that Toyota isn’t interested in F1 either and that makes sense due to their WEC LMP1 efforts…especially after last year’s heart-breaking loss at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

So no BMW, no Toyota and Honda as a supplier. You know what’s left right? More of those awful “Audi to join F1” rumors.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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charlie white

Didn’t Lamborghini sporting director Stefano Domenicali recently comment about the Raging Bull’s possible return to F1? If the VW Group really did decide in jumping into F1, wouldn’t they use Lambo or even Bugatti as the marque of choice over Audi’s tainted recent history?

Richard Bunce

Well if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying, so Audi would seem a natural fit in F1 (and NASCAR if they build enough of one sedan model in the US, maybe if NASCAR counts North America manufacturing.) Nothing like a little F1 hype to disinfect the taint… perhaps they could just supply F1 teams with fuel metering equipment.


Personally I think it’s time for Hyundai to enter the F1 fray. If for no other reason that the entertainment value of all the British commentators’ creative mispronunciations of the name.

Or perhaps the Chinese government could sponsor a cheap knock-off Mercedes-esque team.

Schumi Toronto

How about Tata entering a half-million dollar economy F1 car? You know, like their $5,000 everyday passenger car!


A great idea S&A, Hyundai have launched some hybrid models (not your full F1 hybrid p.u, but potentially a bit of ‘race relevance’ to work with), alternatively Kia are looking to develop their ‘sporty’ image, and what’s more sporty than F1?


KIA F1 – Killed In Action F1… ominous! :-)

Salvu Borg

That the FIA desires other car manufacturers in F1 is understandable, that is because the FIA wants F1 PU to be “road relevant” and car manufacturers will only want what’s relevant to them. and this doesn’t seem to tally with what the new owners “LM” wants, according to LM designated spokesman on the matter “Ross Brawn” “F1 should step Back from being ROAD RELEVANT and ensure the spectacle is preserved”.

Schumi Toronto

NC – remember … FORD is out too!