Audi will be entering Formula One in 2026
That’s right, it’s official. Audi has just announced that the brand is entering the FIA Formula One race series as an engine constructor. The announcement comes just before the Belgian Gran Prix weekend, round 14 of the 2022 F1 season.
We’ve heard rumours and whispers about Audi’s involvement in Formula One for some months now. Even Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess himself has mentioned that both Audi and Porsche will be entering the lauded motorsport series within the decade.
As of now, there’s no confirmation about which team Audi will be lining up with for the 2026 season, or if they’re entering the sport as a full on race team. The brand will announce its decision by the end of the year. But regardless, placing an engine on the grid is a big leap in the right direction for the brand, which has never seen an entrant into the highly contested motorsport.
“Motorsport is an integral part of Audi’s DNA,” says 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 both pursue clear sustainability goals.”
Earlier in August, the FIA announced new power unit regulations for the 2026 season. The next-generation cars are slated to produce net zero CO2 emissions, be more efficient, run on sustainable fuels and have an increased dependency on electrical power. According to Audi, the latter two factors were key contributors to the brand’s participation.
The current-generation 1.6-litre turbo-hybrid V6 engine will remain, but it will be aided by a more powerful MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit - Kinetic) that will produce up to 350kW, almost triple the power of the 120kW MGU-K systems in the current crop of Formula One cars. However, future power units will no longer include an MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit - Heat) to facilitate the turbocharger. The current season cars will carry on average just over 100kg of fuel, but for the 2026 season that figure will be lowered to 70kg.
Constructors will still be limited to three power units per season. However, Audi has an extensive wealth of knowledge from their past pursuits in Touring Car Championships, endurance racing, the Dakar rally as well as Formula E. So things should be quite interesting.
The new Audi power unit will be built and tested at Audi Sport’s Neuburg site, where there are already test benches for the brand’s engines, batteries and electric motors. Further preparations for getting the facility set up will be completed by the end of the year.
“Formula 1 is transforming, and Audi wants to actively support this journey. A close link between our Formula 1 project and AUDI AG’s Technical Development department will enable synergies.” Says Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board for Technical Development at Audi AG.
PHOTOS Audi AG