Volkswagen recently announced that Porsche and Audi are set to enter Formula 1 when new engine regulations are released in 2026, pending confirmation of details of those rules.
Formula 1 has set a new power unit budget cap to include extra margin for new entrants as they develop their engines over the next three years, to encourage them to enter the series.
Porsche and Audi are expected to have separate projects: the former will be developed in conjunction with Red Bull Powertrains , and the latter on the basis of Audi Sport in Germany.
Rivals are concerned about a possible collaboration between the two brands, which could make more of the budget cap than manufacturers without such support.
There are also doubts because if there is a transfer of intellectual property from Honda to Porsche via Red Bull Racing, the Stuttgart manufacturer should not be considered as a new entrant.
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi says the arrival of the Volkswagen brands is in theory a good thing, but only if it doesn’t hurt others in the long run.
“I think it’s good, I think it’s good for the sport,” he told Motorsport.com. “But we really have to pay attention to a couple of things. We have to check and make sure that two separate teams are two separate teams.”
“We need to make sure that if they enter as teams, are they official teams, do they come from Porsche, Audi, Red Bull or Honda? Do they have specific treatment or not? In short, is the category going to be better or is it going to be worse?”.
Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine F1, and Frederic Vasseur, director of Alfa Romeo Racing
Alpine is not the only manufacturer concerned, as Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto have also shared similar views.
“Suddenly, to favor new entrants, different treatment is given to those who were already there,” Rossi said.
“And I suppose the other teams share our concern, but it especially affects us as a works team, because we have literally invested billions in engines over the last 20 or 40 years with Renault.
“We have not done it so that someone comes and takes the good part because they are put on a red carpet. Because basically that alters our business model and puts a lot of jobs at risk.”