Porsche, Audi will join Formula One-VW CEO reveals

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Volkswagen CEO, Herbert Diess said at an event Monday that the two German brands, Porsche and Audi, have been given the go-ahead from parent company Volkswagen to join the biggest motorsports series.

Herbet Diess said that both Audi and Porsche will join Formula 1 in the near future, as reported by Reuters.

He revealed that Porsche’s preparations for entering Formula One were a little more concrete than Audi’s.

Discussions by the board of directors about the two brands’ plans had created some divisions, Diess said at an event in Wolfsburg, where the German carmaker is headquartered.

There has been speculation for several months that the two brands were negotiating partnerships to enter the highest class of international motor racing; Porsche are expected to partner with Red Bull, while Audi has been linked to a deal with McLaren.

According to Diess, ultimately the brands, which is next to VW’s China business are the group’s most important income suppliers, made the case that they would pull in more money for Wolfsburg with a Formula One commitment than without one.

Reuters reports that, Audi is ready to offer around €500 million ($556.3m) for British luxury sports car maker McLaren as a means to enter, while Porsche intends to establish a long-term partnership with racing team Red Bull starting in several years’ time.

In addition to the brands’ economic argument, Formula One’s high advertising impact was apparently also convincing. Diess said that as a result Porsche will reduce other racing activities and concentrate more on the F1 circuit.

The decision comes as Volkswagen prepares for a possible listing of Porsche AG in the fourth quarter of this year, although sources have said the entry into Formula One racing would only be likely to happen in a few years time.

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