Formula One: Audi to enter the fray from 2026

Audi said it would announce by the end of the year which outfit it would be lining up with. PHOTO: REUTERS

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM (REUTERS) - Audi will enter Formula One from 2026 with a power unit built in Germany under new regulations, the Volkswagen premium brand announced at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday (Aug 26).

Audi said it would announce by the end of the year which outfit it would be lining up with. It has been in talks with the Swiss-based Sauber Group, whose team compete under the Alfa Romeo name, according to reports by Reuters and other media.

Formula One will have a new power unit from 2026 with the focus on sustainability and a more cost-efficient future, with the Liberty Media-owned sport having a goal of being carbon-neutral by 2030.

"Formula One is both a global stage for our brand and a highly challenging development laboratory," said Audi chairman Markus Duesmann in a statement coinciding with a news conference at Spa-Francorchamps.

"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."

The new rules from 2026 will bring greater electrification and the use of advanced sustainable fuel. Power unit manufacturers will also be subject to a cost cap from next season.

Audi's power unit will be built in Neuburg an der Donau near the carmaker's headquarters at Ingolstadt, with a separate Audi Sport subsidiary being founded for the project.

Adam Baker, a motorsport veteran and former employee of the International Automobile Federation, F1's governing body, will be chief executive of the F1 project.

German rivals Mercedes build their power unit at Brixworth in central England.

Porsche, another Volkswagen Group brand, is also expected to enter Formula One in 2026 in partnership with current championship leaders Red Bull.

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