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Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has confirmed that Porsche and Audi will be joining the F1 grid after months of rumours circulating the internet on the subject, according to reports

While VW came to the conclusion that it “doesn’t fit and the brand will not participate”, Diess has revealed on a livestream from the VW Group's YouTube channel that instead, it will be putting forward Porsche and Audi to join the sport instead. Diess stressed that this is the last chance for this to realistically happen within the current decade. 

But why is VW Group, the largest automaker in the world, bothered about joining F1? Well, with F1 growing significantly across the globe and in markets such as America, it's a no-brainer that VW would want to promote its products to such a large and engaged fanbase. Miami this weekend is evidence of this expansion, and a lot of the sport's recent success must be put down to Netflix's Drive to Survive. 

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Diess believes F1 is “developing extremely positively worldwide," 

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“If you look at the major sporting events or events in the world, it’s the case that in motorsport, it’s really only Formula 1 that counts and is becoming increasingly differentiated.

“If you do motorsport, you should do Formula 1 as that’s where the impact is greatest. What’s more, you can’t enter Formula 1 unless a technology window opens up which means, in order to get in there, a rule change: so that everyone starts again from the same place.”

According to the CEO, Audi and Porsche is wanting to join F1 as soon as possible as the new engine regulations come into play in 2026. This will be the best time for the manufacturers to begin their development as each team will be on a level playing field, with Deiss admitting that if they joined with the current regulations, it would take them five to ten years to catch up with the current level of performance. 

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But don't be fooled. Yes, VW is obviously interested in F1, but this wasn't a decision they jumped to with plenty of enthusiasm:

“The discussion on the Board was not unanimous. We certainly have other priorities strategically. It’s not necessarily motorsport, but our cars have to be technically up to date, we have to be able to drive autonomously, we need the software capabilities, we need batteries for our cars.

“We have enough to do and we don’t really need to do Formula 1.”

We don't know how Audi and Porsche will be joining the ranks of F1, but it's been rumoured that Audi is looking to buy McLaren, and that Porsche is looking at partnering with Red Bull to supply its engines. 

Only time will tell, but this is a huge win for F1.