According to Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess, Porsche and Audi, the big brands of the Volkswagen Group, will enter Formula 1 in 2026.
Audi acknowledged in a statement last month that it was nearing the end of discussions on a project for the 2026 season.
Diess gave the message at a press conference on Monday, citing F1’s present focus on sustainability, expansion in the United States and Asia, and popularity among young viewers as reasons for the growing interest.
Although it is unclear in what capacity the manufacturers would join the grid, it is understood that Porsche is working on a deal with Red Bull Racing.
Honda is the only Power Unit manufacturer to have entered the sport after the turbo-hybrid era began, however it exited at the end of the 2021 season.
Red Bull acquired the company’s intellectual property and rebranded the units as ‘Red Bull Powertrains,’ with all teams experiencing an engine development freeze. However, new engine technical restrictions are due to be implemented in 2026, the year in which Volkswagen plans to return to Formula One.
For a long time, Audi and Porsche have been connected to a comeback to Formula One, but all speculation has come to naught.
Porsche hasn’t been involved in Formula One since 1991, when it collaborated with Footwork on a project hampered by retirements and failed to qualify.
Audi, on the other hand, has yet to enter Formula One. The German manufacturer has been said to be interested in fielding its own works squad in the future, although it is unclear if this would imply purchasing an existing outfit or designing its own from the ground up.
The other option, presumably, would be significantly more expensive, but it would result in the addition of an 11th team to the grid, something that F1 hasn’t seen since the 2016 season.
Porsche and Audi are now extensively involved in a variety of other motorsport categories, but they may need to scale back their involvement elsewhere to make room for an F1 entry.