Some rumors come and go, while others stick around better than a roll of masking tape. Reports of Volkswagen's entrance into F1 clearly falls under the latter, but this time we have a timeframe.
According to the latest, Volkswagen motorsport chief Hans-Joachim Stuck – a former grand prix driver and Le Mans winner himself – has indicated that the growing automotive empire will make a decision by the end of the year (likely in November) on whether it will enter the Formula One World Championship in 2013.
If and when it does, VW AG could label its program under any of its brands. Audi was initially tipped to be the favorite, but with its Le Mans program already dominating, recent reports indicate that Porsche could get the nod for a come-back, having supplied TAG-branded engines to McLaren in the '80s. Volkswagen's own roundel could alternatively be tasked, but other group subsidiaries seem unlikely.
The decision will likely be linked to the direction that the series will take in terms of future engine development. The company could, meanwhile, opt to buy out an existing team – Sauber, HRT and Toro Rosso are said to be on the market – or team up with an existing one (like Williams) to enter the sport.