Knirsch, who replaced Ulrich Hackenberg as Audi’s technical boss in the wake of the dieselgate emissions scandal, has been charged with leading the firm’s hybrid, electric and hydrogen-powered future.
“F1 for Audi is absolutely not a topic," said Knirsch. “We are focusing on the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and DTM. We want to win Le Mans in a championship where electric and hybrid technology plays a very major role, while we are in discussions with the DTM about when we can introduce this kind of technology."
Knirsch’s comments follow those of Wolfgang DÃ¼rheimer, who heads the VW Group’s motorsport strategy. DÃ¼rheimer told Autocar that the company could not consider entering the sport while its regulations and ownership were under negotiation.
"Formula 1 is not on our agenda right now," said DÃ¼rheimer. "The situation is not predictable enough to make the kind of investment required."
The VW Group had been rumored to be on the verge of buying the championship-winning Red Bull F1 team, with a view to entering one of its brands – most likely Audi – into the series in 2018. Autocar