Rumours that Audi and Porsche may be joining Formula 1 are reaching fever pitch, and it looks increasingly likely the brands will compete alongside existing teams including Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes. The Volkswagen Group has toyed with the idea of competing in Formula 1 for decades, but until now it has always concentrated on other forms of motorsport, including endurance racing and rallying.
Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess announced that discussions about the Volkswagen Group’s brands getting involved in F1 had been divisive, but that Audi and Porsche bosses believe it will generate more money for the brands than it would lose.
Audi is said to be joining as a team and may be looking to buy out an existing entrant. It is said to have had talks with the McLaren, Sauber, Aston Martin and Williams racing teams.
Porsche, on the other hand, may be negotiating an alliance with the Red Bull Racing team’s new engine division in preparation for new Formula 1 engine regulations, set to come into force in 2026. The team could race under the name Red Bull-Porsche.
The new engine rules for 2026 have not yet been fully defined, but the general architecture of the engines will still be based on the current generation of 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid units.
The hybrid part of the powertrains will likely be simplified in 2026 to remove the MGU-H; a system that uses the turbocharger to generate electricity. The 2026 engines will also have to run on 100 per cent sustainable synthetic fuel and hybrid power is likely to increase to around 50 per cent of total output.
Engine regulations have been the deciding factor for Porsche and Audi, who pledged only to join Formula 1 if the technical regulations were planned in such a way that suited them. Porsche has been heavily involved in the production of synthetic fuels, so their involvement in a sport with plans to use them exclusively makes a lot of sense.
What do you think of the news? Excited to see the Volkswagen Group brands’ rivalry play out on the track?