Audi confirms F1 entry from 2026 as sport welcomes Volkswagen brand

The luxury brand is expected to partner with Sauber, though they have only announced engine production from 2026 so far.

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Audi has confirmed its participation in Formula 1 from 2026.

The luxury brand is expected to partner with Sauber, though they have only announced engine production from 2026 so far.

The entry of Volkswagen-owned brands Audi and Porsche into Formula One has been one of the sport’s best-kept secrets in recent months, and Audi were the first to confirm their plans ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Audi has previously been linked to a partnership with McLaren but has reportedly turned its attention to Sauber, which currently operates under the Alfa Romeo banner but is in talks with other brands.

Audi, whose announcement came weeks after the 2026 engine rules were approved, plans to develop its own engines, with the chassis expected to be developed at Sauber’s Switzerland base.

“I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula One, the iconic automotive brand, trailblazer and technology innovator,” said Formula One President Stefano Domenicali.

“This is an important moment for our sport and highlights the tremendous strength we have as a global platform that continues to grow.

“It is also a great recognition that our transition to green hybrid engines in 2026 is the future of the automotive sector. We are all looking forward to seeing the Audi logo on the grille and will be getting more details from them about their plans. in my time”.

Volkswagen’s German rivals Mercedes have dominated Formula One for much of the last decade, but the manufacturing giant hasn’t played the sport before.

However, he did work with Red Bull in the World Rally Championship.

Porsche is expected to contact Red Bull, with whom they have been linked for several years and which has its own powertrain division focused on 2026 changes.

Speaking about the potential entry of luxury brands earlier this year, Lewis Hamilton said: “I think it’s great that we have new manufacturers in this sport, especially since there are several teams that have the potential to become top teams. but are client teams, so I think moving forward will be great.”

Max Verstappen added: “I think this is very interesting and very important for Formula 1.

“Of course we have great teams, but having really great brands behind us is really cool. I look forward to what the future will bring.”

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