Audi has finally confirmed one of the best-kept secrets of the F1 paddock by announcing it will enter Formula 1 as a power unit manufacturer in 2026.
The German auto giant, which is owned by Volkswagen, released the long-awaited news a week after the FIA approved new motoring rules for 2026. Audi says the increase in electrification of the new power unit and the cost to engine builders are crucial. Decision.
However, at the Belgian Grand Prix press conference, Audi board chairman Markus Duesmann said it had not yet reached an agreement with any Formula 1 team to supply engines or act as a working entry partnership.
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Audi is being heavily linked with the purchase of the Alfa Romeo group led by Switzerland’s Sauber. The brand said it intends to confirm plans for a chassis partner before the end of the year.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “I am delighted to welcome Adi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator. “This is a great moment for our sport that continues to grow and underscores our great strength as a global platform.
“Furthermore, our move to sustainable hybrid engines by 2026 is a great recognition of the future of the automotive sector.
“We’re all looking forward to seeing the Audi logo on the grid and we’ll hear more details about their plans in due course.”
Audi’s engine announcement could be confirmation that Porsche will team up with Red Bull to make engines in 2026. Although neither brand has come out on top of the partnership, documents released by Morocco’s competition regulator have confirmed that Porsche plans to buy 50 percent of Red. Bull F1 operation and enter into a joint venture to build power units according to the new regulations.
The new F1 engine rules published by the FIA last week apply to power units with the same architecture as the 1.6 liter turbo-hybrid V6 engines.
The main change is the removal of the complex and expensive MGU-H to increase the total electric power to 50 percent of the total engine output. The internal combustion engine also runs on carbon-neutral sustainable fuels.
The FIA was successful in implementing a spending cap for engine manufacturers that allocated $95 million per year for operations from 2023 to 2026 and $130 million thereafter.
New builders receive a $10 million rebate for the first two years and an additional $5 million in the third season.