Apr.27 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Once again, the Volkswagen-to-F1 rumours are gathering speed.

At the Bahrain grand prix, Bernie Ecclestone was told of rumours that as long as he is chief executive, Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piech was refusing to consider bringing a brand like Audi into formula one.

“Nobody has told me that,” the F1 supremo responded, “but if that’s the case, I’ll leave. I’d be happy to step down immediately.

“I’m absolutely serious,” the 84-year-old insisted.

But now, Ecclestone’s withdrawal will no longer be an obstacle, because after an internal power struggle at the German car-making giant, Piech has stepped down.

“The mutual trust that is needed for successful cooperation no longer exists,” Volkswagen’s supervisory board said in a statement.

Interestingly, Ecclestone made the comments in Bahrain to his long-time colleague and friend Eddie Jordan, now a broadcaster for British television BBC.

It is believed Martin Winterkorn could now succeed Piech as VW chairman.

Earlier, Jordan said Winterkorn “has always believed that F1 is a great platform for the group’s brands. I am told he privately believes VAG (Volkswagen AG) should be a part of F1.”