This decision was taken after new power unit regulations were unveiled earlier this month, which were constructed primarily to make it possible and appealing for newcomers to participate in the sport at a pro level.
The 2026 power sources will retain the current V6 internal-combustion engine structure but will have enhanced electrical energy and 100% sustainable fuels, two factors that Audi says were important in its decision to join.
Audi also intends to be more sustainable and cost-effective, with a price cap for power supply producers being implemented in 2023 and F1 aiming to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030.
F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali, said, “I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator. 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.”
The supplier unveiled that they will finalise the team, which they will be lining up for 2026 by the end of this year. The power unit will be established at Audi Sport’s Neuburg facility, indicating that first time in more than a decade that an F1 powertrain will be constructed in Germany.
Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Markus Duesmann, commented, “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.”
Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development Oliver Hoffmann, said, “In view of the major technological leaps that the series is making towards sustainability in 2026, we can speak of a new 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.”
Audi claims to have test benches for F1 engine testing, as well as electric drive and battery testing, at their Neuburg headquarters. The company is presently focusing to complete personnel, buildings, and technological infrastructure by the end of the year. Once they are done with this, they will have three years to fine-tune the PU before competing in Formula 1.