Porsche and Audi are Officially Joining Formula 1 in 2026
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
We have been awaiting the final verdict on whether Porsche and Audi would be joining Formula 1, and the wait is officially over. Come 2026, these two German sports car companies will enter premier motor racing.
In an article by CAR Magazine, we have learned that the plan is for Audi to pair with the McLaren motorsport division and to also take over the automotive branch in Woking, a town in Surrey, England. “It´ll be a one all-in parcel, racing and automotive, lock, stock and barrel,” says CAR. While the diligence phase for investors has not yet been reached, both parties’ lawyers have been communicating. This positive push is going to result in notable scaling between Porsche, McLaren and Lamborghini. We are looking at the world's strongest sports car group here.
Initially, it was up in the air whether Porsche and Audi would develop Formula 1 race cars, or simply become powertrain suppliers for what already exists in F1. With the information that has been offered thus far, it seems to be that the second option is the one in motion. CAR stated that Audi would be pairing with McLaren, while Porsche and Red Bull Racing would proceed with an arrangement after Red Bull’s arrangement with Honda consultancy concludes. In case these pairings fall through, the alternative plan is to pair Audi with Williams, and Porsche with Alpha Tauri or Haas. I suppose we will see with time.
CAR stated that in some ways, the powertrain supplier route makes the most sense because “Porsche and Audi get to develop and market their hybrid technology – in advance of the new rules – without the cost of chassis development.” Seems to be the deal of a lifetime.
However, with change comes questions… For instance, what is going to happen with the engine? This new drivetrain is supposedly a combined effort between Audi Sport and Porsche Motorsport. The Volkswagen side had always favored an ultra high-performance 2.0 liter four, but the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, or FIA for short, selected the 1.6 liter V6 turbo instead, which was imperative in order for Formula 1 to keep Ferrari on board. The combustion engine, in the future, will eventually be supported by 475bhp of e-power for full electric motor drive. That is about “triple the current output,” according to CAR.
Next question: how will Audi benefit from this? Apparently, Audi is placing bids for both McLaren Cars and for the Formula 1 unit, which is “said to be worth around £1 billion.” Jörg Astalosch, who was previously the CEO of ItalDesign, is the designated chief liaison officer in the current discussions between Audi and McLaren.
There is a high probability that Audi and Porsche are going to merge the Formula 1 research and development work while keeping their visual identities separate. With this prediction comes the possibility that “Audi/McLaren will partner with Porsche/Red Bull to fight Ferrari and Mercedes in the upcoming hybrid/sustainable fuels era.” Until then, we will have to wait and see.
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