VW subsidiaries Porsche and Audi are pushing ahead with their plans to enter Formula 1.

“Both have started to develop engines,” said Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess on Monday at an event organised by “Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung” and “Wolfsburger Nachrichten”. The background for the VW supervisory board’s recent approval for the projects was the prospect of rising revenues, he said. “We have been promised that we will get more money to Wolfsburg with Formula 1 than without it,” Diess said.

Porsche and Audi are each aiming to compete in motorsport’s premier class from 2026 onwards. Formula 1 wants to accommodate interested manufacturers with a compromise on the rules. From 2026, the hybrid engines are to run on 100 per cent sustainable fuel. The combustion engine in the power unit is to contribute only 50 per cent of the power, the rest is to be electric. This fits in with the future direction of the car industry. Diess also made rule changes a condition for the implementation of the plans.

The VW boss made it clear that the parent company would not participate in the Formula 1 projects of its subsidiaries. At Porsche, he said, the plans were already “quite concrete”. As the group’s sportiest brand, Porsche must be involved in motorsport, he said. “If Porsche does motorsport, the most efficient thing is to do Formula One,” Diess said. Porsche has been linked with a move into the Red Bull team of world champion Max Verstappen.

For Audi, meanwhile, several options are under discussion. Instead of the initially discussed deal with McLaren, Aston Martin and Sauber are now mentioned as possible partners.