Audi has announced its foray into Formula 1 from 2026, and will be manufacturing power units as a supplier for itself and customer teams.
Amid widespread rumours that the Ingolstadt-based car giant was on track (pun intended) to buy Sauber’s F1 team Alfa Romeo, Audi and Formula 1 jointly made today’s announcement at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
The power unit will be built at Audi Sport’s facility in Neuburg, close to company headquarters at Ingolstadt. Manufacturing will take place under the leadership of Adam Baker, Audi’s newly appointed CEO of F1 operations. Audi says test benches are already in place for Formula 1 power unit production at their facility, with additional preparations to be made by the end of this year.
Audi also plans to field a team in the pinnacle of motorsport aside to being an engine manufacturer, and would not be establishing a completely new team for that matter. The announcement of the chassis partnership would be made in due course this year.
Audi also showed off a launch livery based on the 2022 F1 show car in typical red and black Audi Sport fashion. A concept, of course.
The German manufacturer agreed to enter the sport should regulations favour them, which Formula 1 finalised last week. Audi claims its focus towards sustainability and carbon neutrality falls in line with Formula 1’s transformation from 2026. Their expertise in electric and hybrid powertrains over multiple race series like Formula E, Le Mans and the Dakar Rally will be of great use in Audi’s Formula 1 project. Audi has gathered 13 overall victories at the Le Mans 24Hrs over the years, so it’s fair to say they know what they’re doing.
The carmaker was quick to point out that their F1 operations would be completely isolated to that of Porsche despite being from the same parent group. The latter are also on the verge of announcing their power unit manufacturing venture with Red Bull Powertrains, albeit with slight delays.
Formula 1 returns to track this weekend, at the Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian GP after a month long summer break! Be sure to not miss out on our coverage and analyses every race weekend at our Motorsports section, and visit here for our other car and bike reviews!