The German automaker will join the race as a power unit provider starting in 2026, according to an announcement made by Audi ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.
Audi has stated that it has officially registered as a Formula 1 power unit manufacturer and will enter the sport in 2026. However, the German automaker has not yet confirmed its partnership with Sauber.
The sport just ratified the new power unit rules that will go into effect in 2026. The upgraded model will still have a V6 internal combustion engine, but it will have more electrical power and run on entirely sustainable resources. The new regulations have been created to encourage and enable new manufacturers to enter the sport.
In a press conference held on Friday morning in which FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali, as well as Audi board member Markus Duesmann, participated, the Volkswagen brand which has long been associated with a potential involvement at the pinnacle of motorsport confirmed its entry as an engine supplier beginning in 2026 at Spa.
“I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said. “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.”
Commenting on the announcement from Audi, the organisation’s AG and chairman of the board of management Markus Duesmann remarked: “Motorsport is an integral part of Audi. 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.”
The manufacturer’s next-generation F1 engine will be developed by Audi Sport’s Neuburg division in Germany, with Sauber handling chassis development and the power unit’s integration at Hinwil.
However, the upcoming engine regulations for Formula 1, which are set to take effect in 2026 and which many feel were partially crafted to satisfy the needs of Audi and Porsche, ultimately convinced Volkswagen to approve both brands’ commitment to competing against the best in motorsport.
While Porsche and Red Bull will collaborate in an F1 joint venture, Audi has favored a strategy based on buying the majority of an existing team, most likely Sauber.
Audi’s partnership with the Swiss organization that runs the Alfa Romeo F1 team was not mentioned in the announcement from Friday, but the automaker did state that it would reveal which team it will be lining up with in 2026 by the end of this year.