Money Disagreements Now Making Audi-McLaren F1 Deal Unlikely, Report Claims
A deal between Audi and McLaren that would give the German carmaker a route into F1 now looks unlikely to happen, according to a source close to the project.
VW Group CEO, Herbert Diess, announced earlier this week that both Audi and Porsche would be entering Formula One. Porsche aims to establish a long-term partnership with Red Bull, and Audi appeared likely to make good on its attempts to buy into McLaren.
But rumors earlier in the year suggested Audi had already been turned down at least once by McLaren for failing to bring enough cash to the table, and Reuters reports that the same disagreements over money are preventing the latest talks from resulting in a deal.
“The price expectations are too far apart,” a person familiar with the talks told Reuters. The source claimed the project wasn’t entirely dead, but suggested a pulse was barely detectable, describing the prospects of Audi succeeding as “now close to zero.”
There’s no indication how much money McLaren needs to pocket for the collaboration to get a green light from the Woking firm’s bosses, but we reported in April that Audi had increased its offer to grab a stake in McLaren’s F1 arm from €450 million ($497 million) to €650 million ($719 million.
Herbert Diess admitted that VW Group proposals for Audi and Porsche to enter F1 had not been met with universal approval at board level, but the plan eventually got the go-ahead after detailed analysis suggested VW would make more money by being a part of the F1 circus than not.
Both Porsche and Audi have collected vast quantities of motorsport trophies over the years by competing in sports car racing and rallying. But Porsche competed only briefly in F1 in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and with only very modest success. And though Audi (as part of the Auto Union) company, was more successful, you have to go back to the 1930s to find evidence of that success.