Thursday, August 9, 2012

Audi in F1 (part 1)

Note: this article is a two part column, the next portion is soon to come!

As I mentioned in my last post Audi's new head of R&D, Wolfgang Durheimer, has proclaimed it might be a good idea for Audi to make a move in to F1 sometime in the near future. Of course, he firmly believes Audi's first goal should be to pummel Porsche's 16-win-record at Le Mans -- sorry, Stutgart -- but should this be too idealistic, Volkswagen Auto Grop should keep their minds open.

I'm sorry but I whole heartedly disagree. The argument Durheimer presents is that Audi is a company that has made progress through domination and leaving, a real 'slash and burn agriculture' approach to racing. 

See it all started with the "Type C". This was the first race car of Auto Union, the company that would later be renamed "Audi". This is the project that Ferdinand Porsche really got started on making some hot racers. This car did normal comeptitions, grand prix races, nothing special. But it set a mile stone for Auto Union/Audi: Engine design. It was one of few V6 racers at the time, and it did spectacularly.

File:Auto Union.jpg
The four rings represent the four companies of Auto Union. Or the olympics, whatever you want to believe.
Now fast forward to the 1980's. The Audi Quattro has been developed and sent out in to rally racing, again, nothing but defeat and domination, of course in Audi's favor. But of course, the ever flopping brand grew bored of this sideways sport and in the 90's moved in to touring, specifically, DTM. By now Quattro drive had been confirmed as, how should I say this?: The Badass of Drivetrains. Winning championships accross Europe's different touring championships Audi grew bored, yet again. This time they set their eyes on FIA sanctioned races -- endurance races.

And here we are folks. Thirteen years of racing resulting in eleven wins at Le Mans, an unheard of ratio of wins/attempts.

Stay tuned for the next entry outlining my opinion of Audi's attempts in F1!

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