Audi to partner with Cosworth ?

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Volkswagen's involvement in Formula 1 under the Audi banner starting in 2018 is on the verge of being signed and sealed according to Germany's Auto Bild.

The deal has been negotiated and decided at the highest level of the group and awaits the final signatures of Dietrich Mateschitz (Red Bull) and VW's President Martin Winterkorn.

Red Bull Racing's structure would partner with Cosworth's engineering services on Audi's power unit front.

The Northampton engine manufacturer, whose history is deeply rooted in F1 since the advent of the legendary Ford Cosworth DFV in 1967, would handle the development and maintenance of a power unit conceived by Audi who evidently know a few things about hybrid engines thanks to the firm's vast Le Mans and endurance racing experience.

Audi's endeavor would somewhat follow the Mercedes model which relied on buying Brawn GP in 2010 as well as a controlling interest in Ilmor Engineering to design and develop the German manufacturers Formula 1 power plants.

While speculation mounts regarding the scheme, Volkwagen's deliberate manipulation of US emissions tests which was announced yesterday, and the subsequent potentially massive financial penalty it may incur, could however throw a spanner into the works of its F1 plans.

German media believes VW's Winterkorn could be forced to resign should pressure become unsustainable for the group's chief executive. A state of affairs which would no doubt force a rethink of the company's devised F1 future.

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