Volkswagen will not share their Polo with you
Jost Capito said it himself, you never know what tomorrow brings, but for now there is no sign of crisis within Volkswagen Motorsport; the team remains unaffected by all the drama surrounding Volkswagen cheat device scandal (and its consequences). According to Jost, team is already very cost-effective and, despite popular opinion saying otherwise, they do seem to have a fixed budget with set limits. For now, three cars and two teams setup stays, but even if Volkswagen won’t shrink it’s WRC programme, it won’t expand it either, so no room for a fourth car. “Sorry to all you talented newcomers, but we’re not the only team out there”, Capito didn’t say, but he could have.
Volkswagen’s boss also used this opportunity to reiterate once again the no-customer-cars policy of his team. No, Volkswagen will not sell or rent or do whatever in terms of cars for privateers. “We’re factory team and we’re here to win”, Capito said in response. Perhaps now really isn’t the best time to think about investing in such a programme, because it would inevitably require substantial investment to get going, but it is also possible Volkswagen feels there isn’t a big enough market for customer cars. But what if the rules were different?
Can we imagine the return of the so called homologation specials? How insanely impossible would a rule for mandatory customer car programme for every manufacturer team be? Would it make things more interesting or would it just end up being too expensive and, as such, drive the potential new teams away from the sport?
We know there is money out there. More money than ever before, and all this talk of crisis and reductions is nothing but a smokescreen. There are teams and drivers out there, perfectly capable of buying any kind of R5 or WRC car any manufacturer throws at them. But would they do it and for what purpose, is another question, because at the moment privateers are still miles away from being properly competitive. At least according to WRC results. Fixing them, well, that’s a tough one to crack and I’m not sure if WRC is currently spending too much time thinking about this particular issue.