Formula One: Audi exploring entry into F1 racing

McLaren (above) has denied being purchased by Audi. PHOTO: AFP

FRANKFURT (AFP) - German carmaker Audi is looking at ways into Formula One, with partnerships with established racers teams like McLaren, Red Bull and Williams mooted in the press on Wednesday (Nov 17).

Audi's supervisory board discussed the options at a meeting in Stuttgart, including "potential transactions" with McLaren, according to Bloomberg News.

"We constantly look at different cooperation ideas in the scope of our strategic considerations," a spokesman for Audi told AFP.

On Monday, McLaren denied reports that it had been purchased by Audi, saying the group's "technology strategy has always involved ongoing discussions and collaboration with relevant partners and suppliers."

But Volkswagen subsidiary Audi is said to have made an offer for McLaren, which was deemed too low by the British company, according to Bloomberg.

Audi was also considering "alternative partnerships with the likes of Red Bull Racing or Williams Racing", Bloomberg said.

Like the rest of the Volkswagen automobile stable, Audi is pivoting towards electric vehicles and hopes to use the entry to showcase green technology, according to the German press.

A condition for Audi's interest is that the elite racing competition "uses hybrid power and e-fuels from 2026", explained German financial daily Handelsblatt, recalling that Audi CEO Markus Duesmann is a "racing fan".

Before joining the Volkswagen group, Duesmann was also for many years an engine developer for BMW's Formula 1 teams.

A final decision on any partnership or purchase would not be made before 2022, an Audi source told AFP.

McLaren's principal shareholder is the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat.

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