Audi will enter Formula 1 as a manufacturer from the 2026 season onwards. The German company will partner with the Sauber F1 team, who are currently sponsored by Alfa Romeo and run with Ferrari-supplied power-units.
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulayem and Audi CEO Markus Duesmann made a joint announcement to confirm the move.
Why will Audi join F1 2026?
The introduction of the new F1 engine regulations is set to be the driving factor behind’s the decision to enter F1.
Without the current MGU-H (heat-electric generator), which was once a headache for Honda, the new engines in 2026 will be both cheaper and less complicated to build.
Another reason is the introduction of biofuels or e-fuels in F1, with Audi always championing the use of these fuels.
Audi’s announcement that it has partnered with Sauber, means that the team will still use its Hinvil (Switzerland) factory to manufacture its chassis, with Audi set to become an engine partner, much like the squad’s previous relationship with BMW.
Audi Sport’s Neuburg facility will be the site for the development of the power unit. This marks the first time an F1 engine will be made in Germany, following BMW’s departure from the sport.
It should be remembered that the current Mercedes engine is manufactured in Brixworth in the UK, although its technology is entirely German.
“Motorsport is an integral part of Audi’s DNA,” said Audi board chairman Markus Duesmann.
“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 are pursuing clear sustainability goals.”
Domenicali proud to welcome Audi
Domenicali was equally enthused with the former Ferrari labelling Audi’s entry a huge win for the sport.
“I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator,” Domenicali stated.
“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.”
Next up, Porsche
Audi is the first of the German giant’s brands to officially announce its entry into the top class of motor racing, though it won’t be the last.
Porsche is finalising its partnership with Red Bull to return to a competition in which it was previously present as an engine supplier.
“We will work independently, as we did at Le Mans,” Duesmann confirmed. They will be independent engine partners to F1.”