Audi confirms Formula 1 entry from 2026 as sport welcomes Volkswagen brand

The luxury brand is expected to have a tie-up with Sauber, although have only announced they are manufacturing engines from 2026 so far.

Florian Gaertner | Photothek | Getty Images

Audi has confirmed its Formula 1 entry from 2026.

The luxury brand is expected to have a tie-up with Sauber, although have only announced they are manufacturing engines from 2026 so far.

The entry of the Volkswagen-owned brands Audi and Porsche into F1 has been one of the sport’s worst-kept secrets in recent months, and Audi were the first to confirm their plans ahead of this weekend’s Belgian GP.

Audi were previously linked with a partnership with McLaren but have reportedly turned their attentions to Sauber, who currently run under the Alfa Romeo banner but have been in talks with other brands.

Audi, whose announcement comes weeks after the 2026 engine rules were confirmed, are planning to develop their own engines, with the chassis still expected to be developed at Sauber’s Switzerland base.

“I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator,” said F1 president Stefano Domenicali.

“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 fueled 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.”

Volkswagen’s German rivals Mercedes have dominated F1 for much of the last decade but the manufacturing giant has not previously been involved with the sport.

It has, though, worked with Red Bull in the world rally championship.

It is expected that Porsche will link up with Red Bull, who they have been linked with for several years and who have their own Powertrains Division focused on the 2026 changes.

Speaking about the luxury brands’ potential arrival earlier this year, Lewis Hamilton said: “I think it’s great that we’re going to get new manufacturers within the sport, especially as you see there are several teams who have potential to be top teams but are customer teams, so I think it’s going to be great moving forwards.”

Max Verstappen added: “I think it’s very exciting and very important for Formula 1 as well.

“Of course we have great teams, but to have really great brands behind it is really nice. I’m looking forward to what the future will bring.”

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