The Four Rings are coming back to the pinnacle of motorsport. Audi has confirmed its participation in Formula One as a constructor starting in the 2026 season. Together with sister brand Porsche, the two Volkswagen Group companies are presumed to compete under different setups. Audi will be a full-blown manufacturer entry, while Porsche will be an engine supplier to Red Bull Racing. Porsche is also said to be in the process of buying a 50% stake in the championship-winning team.
Audi is currently in talks with McLaren, Sauber, Aston Martin, and Williams for a possible takeover. The German luxury brand will announce which team it will partner with by the end of the 2022 season.
Audi's entry announcement was delayed because of the late finalization of the 2026 F1 engine rules. One of the primary considerations for Audi and Porsche to join was that "advanced sustainable fuel" be used along with greater electrification. The new Formula One engine specifications, which will be in effect by 2026, also see the elimination of the Motor Generator Unit - Heat, a complex and expensive part that harvests energy from the exhaust heat of the current 1.6-liter turbo F1 engines.
To highlight its corporate slogan, “Vorsprung Durch Technik” or "Lead by Technology," Audi will develop its engines in the Audi Sport facility in Neuburg an der Donau. This engine program and the F1 team's management will be led by former FIA official Adam Baker as its CEO.
Banking on its success in the 24 Hours of LeMans and more recently at the Dakar Rally with the Audi RS Q e-tron hybrid rally-raid car, do you think Audi has what it takes to prove its superiority in technology in Formula One?