Audi has formally announced they will enter Formula 1 from 2026, although there has been no word on the rumoured link-up with Sauber.
After months of speculation that both Audi and Porsche were considering joining the Formula 1 fraternity as engine suppliers, Audi confirmed their arrival on Friday morning.
Holding a press conference at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the German company confirmed that it will be in the sport as of 2026 with development preparations already underway, those having begun six months ago already.
The new F1 department in Neuburg is already 120 people strong, headed by Adam Baker who is a former Cosworth, BMW, FIA man.
The German company were enticed to join Formula 1 by the sport’s decision to tweak the power units in 2026.
While F1 will continue with the current V6 internal combustion engine, they will feature increased electrical power and run on sustainable fuels.
Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG Markus Duesmann said: “I want to officially announce that Audi has officially registered as PU F1 manufacturer. So we will, in 2026, start racing in F1.
“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 combination of high performance and competition is always a driver of innovation and technology transfer in our industry.
“With the new rules, now is the right time for us to get involved. After all, Formula 1 and Audi both pursue clear sustainability goals.”
However, they did not confirm in Friday’s press conference which team they will be lining up with in 2026, saying that will be announced before the “end of this year”.
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 26, 2022
That team is, according to reports, set to be Sauber with Audi buying a 75% stake in the F1 team, leaving 25% to current owner Finn Rausing.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, welcomed the announcement, saying: “I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator.
“This is a major moment for our sport that highlights the huge strength we have as a global platform that continues to grow.
“It is also a big recognition that our move to sustainably fuelled hybrid engines in 2026 is a future solution for the automotive sector.
“We are all looking forward to seeing the Audi logo on the grid and will be hearing further details from them on their plans in due course.”