Audi's entry announcement was made on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix at a press conference attended by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Stefano Domenicali, and Audi chairman Markus Duesmann.
Digital Desk: Audi will enter the Formula One world championship as a power unit supplier beginning with the 2026 season.
The power unit for the automaker will be built in Neuberg, Germany. It will be ready by 2026, when new engine regulations go into effect, making it possible and appealing for newcomers to enter the sport.
Audi's announcement comes on the eve of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at the iconic Spa circuit, with confirmation coming during a press conference attended by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, F1 chief Stefano Domenicali, and Audi chairman Markus Duesmann on Friday morning.
Amid intense rumours that the automaker has been in contact with Swiss-based Sauber Group, who presently compete under the Alfa Romeo name, Audi also stated they would decide which team they would collaborate with "before the end of this year."
The Volkswagen Group's ambitious F1 aspirations have been in the spotlight for some time, but now that the new power unit regulations have been approved, Audi has a clear path to making its presence known.
"I am thrilled to welcome Audi to Formula 1," stated Domenicali, president, and CEO of F1. Audi is a legendary automaker and a pioneer in technology.
"This is a significant occasion for our sport and it shows the tremendous strength we have as a worldwide platform that is expanding."
The power units will maintain the current V6 internal combustion engine architecture starting in 2026 but will also include additional electrical power and only use renewable fuels, two critical factors in Audi's decision to join Formula 1.
"It is also a huge recognition that our transition to sustainably fueled hybrid engines in 2026 is a future remedy for the automotive sector," Domenicali stated. We are all anticipating seeing the Audi badge on the grid, and we will learn more about their plans in due course.
The chairman of Audi, Duesmann, continued, "Formula 1 is a global stage for our brand as well as a very difficult development laboratory."
"In our industry, innovation, and technology transfer are always fueled by a combination of strong performance and competition. The time is opportune for us to get involved with the new guidelines.
Adam Baker, a seasoned motorsports executive, and former F1 staffer will head Audi's new endeavor.