It’s official, Audi will enter Formula 1 in 2026

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Audi will enter Formula 1 starting from the 2026 season, when the new regulation will be applied which provides for a higher level of electrification than today and the use of innovative sustainable fuels. Although it has not yet been made official, the German manufacturer is acquiring the majority shares of Sabuer Motorsport, 75% of which should pass into the hands of Audi. The Swiss company is currently engaged with Alfa Romeo, but this partnership will end at the end of the 2023 season, as the Italian brand made official today through a short official note. The Audi F1 project will have as its nerve center the Audi Motorsport Competence Center in Neuburg, near Ingolstadt, while the chassis part will continue to be developed by Sauber in the Hinwil factory.

“Motorsport is an integral part of Audi’s DNA. Formula 1 is both a global stage for our brand and a highly challenging development laboratory. The pursuit of maximum performance and competition have always been the engine for innovation and the transfer of technologies from the track to the road. In light of the new regulations, the time has come for our direct involvement. After all, Formula 1 and Audi share the goal of sustainability “said Audi CEO Markus Duesmann. In this regard, it is worth remembering that Formula 1 has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. A target in line with that of Audi which, however, has set the date of 2050. But Audi’s entry into Formula 1 was also facilitated by the introduction of the budget cap for power unit manufacturers, which will apply from 2023.

From 2026, the electric power of the power units, consisting of an electric motor, a battery, the management electronics and a combustion engine, will increase significantly compared to the current units. The electric motor will be almost as powerful as the thermal engine, which will have an output of around 400 kW (544 hp). From an organizational point of view, however, Audi Sport will interrupt the LMDh project, or the development of the car for endurance competitions. There will also be a change in leadership: Audi Sport GmbH CEO Julius Seebach will join Audi AG as head of a new strategic area in Technical Development and will be replaced by Rolf Michl, currently Audi Sport’s Chief Operating Officer Racing. At this point, to complete the picture of the Volkswagen Group’s commitment in F1, only the official announcement of the partnership between Porsche and Red Bull Racing is missing.

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