More evidence VW may enter F1? (3rd Update)

UPDATE #3 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Volkswagen has no intentions of entering F1, according to a high-ranking official of the German car brand. Volkswagen Motorsport Dir Jost Capito told SBD Global "there are no talks" about joining F1. Volkswagen, as a volume manufacturer, is more interested in activities that represent cars that people can buy in the showroom, he said. "It has been well-decided and it was a serious evaluation to go into the World Rally Championship because as a volume manufacturer we believe it’s right to be in a series where the cars are recognizable, where you run the technology that you sell in the showroom." Volkswagen joined WRC in '13 and won back-to-back drivers and constructors titles in '13 and '14. Volkswagen's commitment to its WRC program sees it stay in the series until at least '19.

In comparison to a series such as WRC, F1 uses future technology that customers cannot identify with and cannot buy in the showroom, Capito said. "We see this kind of technology the same as sports car technology more for the premium brands." The premium brands of the Volkswagen Group, the world's second biggest car producer, include names like Porsche and Audi. Both are active in various sports car racing series. Over the weekend, Porsche celebrated a one-two victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, breaking Audi's reign after five wins in a row. Audi denied recent reports of potentially entering F1 by teaming up with Red Bull Racing, with Audi CEO Rupert Stadler being quoted as saying, "Formula 1 needs to sort out its own problems." HJ Mai/SportsbusinessDaily Global

5/11/12 (GMM) Volkswagen, the German carmaking giant, has played down suggestions it could launch a formula one project some time soon.

"There are always rumors about Volkswagen and formula one," said Jost Capito, who has taken over from Kris Nissen as the head of the Wolfsburg-based company's motor racing boss.

However, he is quoted by Germany's Sport1 as insisting that VW is only concentrating on its world rally program.

"The WRC program is approved from 2013 to 2015," Capito insisted. "There is no room to think about anything else.

"It (F1) is not on our radar," he is also quoted as saying by France's L'Equipe. "Our hands are full already."

In the wake of BMW, Honda and Toyota's departures, the only mass production carmakers in F1 are Renault – as an engine supplier – and Mercedes.

Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Caterham produce niche sports cars.

03/29/12 Jost Capito is take over the management of Volkswagen Motorsport, from May 1. He will replace Kris Nissen who will remain an advisor to the Group in the future, but is giving up his day-to-day role.

Jost Capito joins Volkswagen from the Ford Motor Company USA and has a wealth of experience in motorsport. He started his career as a development engineer at BMW and in 1989 became head of the Carrera Cup organization at Porsche and subsequently assumed overall responsibility for all Porsche Cups. From 1996 to 2001 he was a leading figure at Sauber Petronas Engineering and in 1998 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer in the Sauber Red Bull F1 Team. At the end of 2001, Capito he moved to Ford where he most recently had worldwide responsibility for the performance vehicles and motorsport strategy.

Nissen, a former international racer until a fiery accident ended his career, has been managing director of Volkswagen Motorsport since 2003. He played an important role in creating VW’s success on the Dakar Rally. Joe Saward

08/22/11 Willy Rampf, former Technical Director at the Sauber F1 team, has been recruited as Technical Director by Volkswagen Motorsport. The German, who left the Hinwil team last year to be replaced by James Key, will oversee VW’s World Rally project.

Now 58, Rampf has been appointed as head of the scheme overseeing the Polo R WRC car, according to German publication Motorsport Aktuell. He will be working alongside Francois-Xavier Demaison, Chief Engineer.

The new commitment is not a rallying first for Rampf, who headed up BMW’s Dakar motorcycle project at the end of the 1990s.

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