For three years we have ridden the high seas when it comes to Volkswagen's reported entry into Formula One. In 2009, the German juggernaut's interest was piqued by the idea of supplying engines when the new regulations mandated 1.6-liter turbocharged V6s in 2014. By the end of 2010, it was said that VW had decided not to join the F1 circus, but that hasn't stopped repeated speculative announcements to the contrary.
Just three months ago Jost Capito, VW's recently christened head of motorsport, said VW wouldn't enter F1. But he was speaking for the VW brand, not the group – and that is perhaps why we can have a brand new report sourced from Germany's Sport Bild magazine (we can't locate the report on the Sport Bild site, though) that the VW Group is considering entering F1 in 2015 with Sauber. Peter Sauber is said to have admitted meeting VW CEO Martin Winterkorn at the Geneva Motor Show this year, but Sauber F1 team CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said that's where the story ends.
Not according to the Sport Bild report, though: it says not only is VW looking to partner with Sauber, but longer term it could be planning its own chassis that would be designed at the Porsche Motorsport Centre in Weissach, Germany, where Porsche is also working on its Le Mans entrant. Could VW have big things in mind for its newest carmaker acquisition? Porsche has said it's focused on Le Mans and not F1, but who knows, and we wouldn't complain about a Porsche-McLaren-Lotus/Renault-Mercedes-AMG battle in the series. It would also be interesting to see if Volkswagen could succeed as a constructor, an effort at in which other German brands have so far failed in the modern era.
The 2015 timing is odd, but the mentioned team might not be. Sauber is doing amazingly well this year with hardly any sponsorship at all, much less manufacturer backing: both its drivers are in the top ten, and it is the sixth in the constructor standings behind the manufacturers and Red Bull Racing. And we're sure it's just coincidence that Jost Capito was an executive and COO at the Sauber Red Bull Racing F1 team for five years from 1996-2001.