What Audi’s F1 effort would look like is uncertain, but an official announcement should come soon.
If you’re a Formula 1 fan who’d like to cheer for a car wearing the famous Four Rings, it sure sounds like you’re in luck. Because a new report from out friends over at Autocar says that Ingolstadt is set to announce an F1 program, as forthcoming changes to the rulebook will put a focus on sustainable fuels and electric powertrains. While those rules don’t take effect until 2026, and the deal has yet to be approved by the Volkswagen Group brass, it sounds like fans have every reason to be encouraged. Here’s what Audi CEO Markus Duesmann recently wrote to FIA president Jean Todt:
Thanks to your efforts we are now close to the finish line. Recently, we saw another milestone being reached – the first draft of the technical, sporting and financial regulations… We believe that it contains satisfying solutions for all the objectives.
We look forward to working with you and your team, to complete this important process and to confirm our Formula 1 entry early next year
At this point, exactly what an F1 effort from Audi would look like is uncertain. As rumors have swirled about the company taking the plunge into motorsport’s top tier series, there’s been speculation that it could involve a partnership with McLaren, a role as an engine supplier, or even a traditional factory team. Further complicating any move are rumors that corporate cousin Porsche is also mulling a Formula 1 campaign. Given how expensive a presence in the sport is, the big question is how much money Volkswagen Group would be prepared to spend to have two of its marque properties battle each other.
As foggy as the outlook might be, however, it does seem like a good time to start planning for an Audi F1 campaign. Right now, arch rival Mercedes is on its heels after Red Bull driver Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton in a historic showdown at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix earlier this month. Verstappen’s victory broke an amazing seven-year run for the Mercedes team, and may very well mark a changing of the guard in the long-stagnant series. Fortunately, since 2022 is right around the corner, we’ll have more news soon. So stay tuned!