German car manufacturer Audi is set to debut in Formula 1.
Audi announced its participation at a press conference at the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps.
F1 said in a statement that Audi will join the Formula 1 World Championship from the 2026 season as a powertrain supplier.
The announcement comes after new powertrain regulations were unveiled earlier this month, designed specifically to make it possible and attractive for beginners to take part in the sport at a competitive level.
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Two factors, according to Audi, were key to its inclusion: the 2026 powertrains will retain the current V6 internal combustion engine architecture, but have increased electric output and 100% green fuel.
Audi, which is part of the Volkswagen Group, added that it also supports Formula 1’s plans to be more sustainable and cost-effective.
There is also a cost cap for powertrain manufacturers introduced in 2023, and F1 has set a target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali, who worked at Volkswagen for a period in 2014, said he was delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator.
“This is an important moment for our sport that highlights the enormous strength we have as a global platform that continues to grow.”
“It is also a great recognition that our transition to hybrid engines with green fuels in 2026 is the future solution for the automotive sector.
“We are all looking forward to seeing the Audi logo on the grid and hearing more from them about their plans in due course,” said Domenicali.
Audi says it is in talks with Swiss group Sauber, whose team goes by the Alfa Romeo name, according to Reuters and other media.
“Formula 1 is both a global stage for our brand and a highly sophisticated development laboratory,” Audi chairman Markus Duesmann said in a statement to coincide with a press conference in Spa-Francorchamps.
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