Audi boss knocks back Formula One speculation

Tue Nov 4, 2014 11:18am EST
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(Reuters) - German carmaker Audi has knocked down speculation about a possible Formula One entry in 2016 after recruiting former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali to an unspecified role.

"There is no decision that we are going in that direction," Audi motorsport head Wolfgang Ullrich told the website on Tuesday.

"Audi has a motorsport program that at the moment is based on the World Endurance Championship and the DTM (German Touring Cars), and we are working on the cars for next season. There is no other program."

Ullrich confirmed that Domenicali had joined Audi but said the Italian would not be involved in motorsport.

The speculation had grown following Audi stablemate Porsche's return to Le Mans as a full works entry. Both are part of Volkswagen AG that also owns supercar brands Lamborghini and Bugatti.

Formula One's latest race in Austin, Texas, at the weekend saw only nine teams compete after Caterham and Marussia went into administration.

Ullrich added that there had been no contact with Ferrari's double world champion Fernando Alonso, who is set to leave the Italian team and has yet to reveal where he is headed despite most signs pointing to McLaren.

Alonso was at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, won by Audi, as the honorary starter.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in Austin, editing by Toby Davis)

Audi motorsport chief Wolfgang Ullrich attends the Le Mans 24-hour sportscar race in Le Mans, central France June 15, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe