Audi confirms 2026 F1 entry as power unit supplier

Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Audi confirms 2026 F1 entry as power unit supplier

Formula 1

Audi confirms 2026 F1 entry as power unit supplier

By

Audi has confirmed it will enter Formula 1 in 2026 as a power unit supplier, ahead of an expected takeover of the Sauber team currently branded as Alfa Romeo.

The German manufacturer made the announcement alongside Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem at the Belgian Grand Prix, confirming the new power unit regulations and cost cap make it the right time to enter. It follows years of interest from the Volkswagen Group, and recent approvals for both Audi and Porsche to push ahead with potential involvement in F1.

“I want to officially announce that Audi has officially registered as a Formula 1 PU manufacturer,” Audi AG chairman Markus Duesmann says. “So in 2026 we will start racing in F1.

“Racing and motorsport is in the DNA of Audi. Audi has always been active and been successful in motor racing, and if you think about Le Mans or rally Dakar that we do now, DTM and Formula E, we have always been very active and very successful.

“We want to continue this success story now in Formula 1 and I think it’s perfect timing due to the new rules that are established now for us to enter F1. There are many aspects. We have decided to be a fully electric car manufacturer and F1 changed the rules in a way that we can enter with a very high electric part of the powertrain, with renewable fuels and Formula 1 have installed a cost cap that makes it very attractive for us to enter now.”

The Audi project will be based out of its motorsport headquarters in southern Germany, where there are already F1 test benches for power units, high-performance electric motors and batteries. A separate company has been set-up — a 100-percent subsidiary of Audi Sport — that will oversee the F1 PU development and is headed up by former FIA employee Adam Baker.

“The new rules are in place in 2026, and as we do a complete new powertrain — the combustion engine and also the electric side — that is not too long for us. So there is a lot of pressure to do that. We will set up operations in our motorsport facilities in Neuberg an der Donau which is close to Ingolstadt, our headquarters. Certainly we have to bring them up to F1 standards which takes a long time, that is already ongoing.

“We have a fantastic team of people there — motorsport-experienced people — but we also have to hire some new people, this takes some time. And as everything will be brand new there is not long, in less than four years from now we will be on the grid and racing in F1 races, so this is not too long. But we are absolutely delighted and really happy to do that.”

While Audi will prepare over the coming years for its entry, Duesmann says he doesn’t believe it’s right to target victories from the very first season.

“I feel that’s not realistic (being competitive right from the start). That would be ideal. But we certainly have a plan internally what we want to do. But ideally within the first three years we should be very competitive.”

Presented by
Enjoy the mid-season restart with F1 TV Pro. Live stream the rest of 2022 with exclusive driver onboards, team radios and live analysis.

MX-5 Cup | Round 14 – Road Atlanta | Livestream

More RACER