VW announced recently that Porsche and Audi are set to enter the sport when the new engine formula is introduced in 2026, pending final confirmation of the rules.
A new power unit budget cap is set to include an extra margin for new entrants as they develop their engines over the next three years, in order to help encourage them to come in.
Porsche are Audi are expected to run independent projects, with the former developed in conjunction with Red Bull Powertrains, and the latter hailing from Audi Sport’s base in Germany.
Rivals are concerned about possible collaboration between the two brands that could help both to get more out of the budget cap figure than they otherwise would.
There are also question marks about any potential carry over of intellectual property from Honda to Porsche via Red Bull, which could call into question the Stuttgart manufacturer’s claim to be a new entrant.
Rossi says that the arrival of the VW brands is in theory in a positive, but only if it doesn’t disadvantage the long-term suppliers.
“I think it’s nice, I think is good for the sport,” he told Motorsport.com. “But we need to really pay attention to a couple of things, actually. We need to check and make sure that two separate teams are two separate teams.
“We need to make sure that if they’re entering the arena as teams, are they works teams, is it coming from Porsche, from Audi, is it coming from Red Bull or Honda? Do they have specific treatment or not? So basically, is the sport going to be better off, or is it going to be worse off?”
Laurent Rossi, CEO, Alpine F1, and Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Alpine is not the only manufacturer with concerns, as Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto have shared similar views.
“Suddenly to favour new entrants, then incumbents suddenly get a bit of the wrong end of the stick,” said Rossi.
“And I guess it’s the same concern for most teams here, but especially for us as a works team, because we’ve invested literally billions over the past 20 years, 40 years, for Renault in PUs.
“It’s not for someone to come in and just like get the lion’s share just because they roll out the red carpet. Because it’s basically disrupting our business model, and putting a lot of jobs at risk.”
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