Sunday, June 16, 2024

Audi to enter F1 in 2026

Audi has confirmed from 2026 it will compete in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with a specially developed power unit, following new rules focusing on sustainability and cost efficiency in F1.

The project will be based at Audi Sport’s facility in Neuburg near Ingolstadt. This is the first time in more than a decade that a Formula 1 power train will be built in Germany.

Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, said: “Motorsport is an integral part of Audi’s DNA. 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 key to getting involved is the world’s most popular racing series is the clear plan to becomemore sustainable and cost-efficient. The new technical rules, which will apply from 2026, focuson greater electrification and advanced sustainable fuel. In addition to the existing cap on costsfor teams, a cost cap for power unit manufacturers will be introduced in 2023. In addition,Formula 1 has set itself the ambitious goal of being a carbon-neutral racing series by 2030.”

Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board for Technical Development, commented: “In view of the major technological leaps that the series is making towards sustainability in 2026, we can speak of anew Formula 1. 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.”

From 2026, the electric power output for the power units, consisting of an electric motor,battery, control electronics, and a combustion engine, will increase sharply compared to today’sFormula 1 drive systems. The electric motor will then be nearly as powerful as the combustionengine, which has an output of about 400 kW (544 hp). The highly efficient 1.6-liter turboengines run on advanced sustainable fuel – also a prerequisite for Audi’s entry into the series.

In Neuburg there are already test benches for F1 engine testing as well as for electric motor andbattery testing. Additional necessary preparations are currently being made in terms ofpersonnel, buildings, and technical infrastructure, with everything essential to be in place by theend of the year. A separate company was recently founded for the power unit project as a whollyowned subsidiary of Audi Sport. Adam Baker will take over the management of the company andthus the Formula 1 project as CEO. The trained engineer has held various senior positions formanufacturers and teams in motorsport. Before joining Audi in 2021, he worked for the FIA forthree years.

Audi will announce a decision on which team they will be lining up with in 2026 by the end ofthis year.

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