So why does the car manufacturer join the Formula 1 series?
According to Audi, the decisive factor for the entry into the Formula 1 circuit is "that the racing series becomes more sustainable and cost-efficient". The new technical regulations, which will apply from 2026, stipulate greater electrification and sustainable fuel. “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.”
From 2026, according to the FIA, the share of electric power of the hybrid drive is to increase to up to 50 per cent. Hence 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’s Formula 1 drive systems. The electric motor will then be nearly as powerful as the combustion engine, which has an output of about 400 kW (544 hp). The 1.6-liter turbo engines run on advanced sustainable fuel – also a prerequisite for Audi’s entry into the series. In the long run Formula 1 as a racing series aims to be CO2-neutral by 2030.
Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board for Technical Development, therefore announced that “In view of the major technological leaps that the series is making towards sustainability in 2026, we can speak of a new Formula 1.” In his eyes the prestigious Formula 1 is transforming with a close link between the Formula 1 project and AUDI AG’s Technical Development department planning to enable synergies.
Audi plans to develop and build the powertrain at Audi Sport's Motorsport Competence Centre in Bavarian Neuburg an der Donau. Here, Audi Motorsport already operates test benches for Formula 1 engines, high-performance electric motors and batteries. A separate company has been set up for this and is wholly owned by Audi Sport.
Photos courtesy of Audi.