To find Audi in Formula 1 you have to look back, way back to a time when Audi wasn’t known as Audi but as ‘Auto Union’, and to when Formula 1 wasn’t Formula 1 as we know it today.
A number of crazy pre-war Grand Prix machines were built with the four rings emblem on the nose before World War Two put a stop to motorsport, including this, the Auto Union Type D.
The Type D, with a 3.0-litre supercharged V12, wasn’t as crazy as its predecessor the Type C, which had a preposterous sounding 6.0-litre supercharged V16 engine. But in its short Grand Prix racing life from 1938 to mid-1939 it picked up two wins and four podiums, with drivers like Tazio Nuvolari and Hans Stuck Sr. at the wheel.
The car you see here is from 1939, and the man behind the wheel at the 2015 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard is a Mr Nick Mason. He might not be a Grand Prix driver but, as a regular visitor to Goodwood and the owner of many, many road and race cars old and new he knows a thing or two about driving. What’s more, his career as Pink Floyd’s drummer means he’s got much better hand eye coordination than most of us. A good thing, really, given how large the steering wheel is and how much the Type D moves around…