Audi is only joining the sport in 2026, but that won't stop you from driving its car before then.
Audi is two steps closer to its Formula 1 debut this week. First, the brand announced a significant expansion to help it deliver its first-ever F1 car for 2026. It also enters Formula 1 a little "early," with the launch of the 2026 Audi F1 car in the F1 22 game. The Audi show car is part of the "Podium Pass Series 4 VIP tier" and will come available sometime on December 7.
"Our show car has caused quite a stir from the very first moment with its striking design and the color scheme that is typical of Audi in motorsport. Everywhere it has been in action, the reactions have been extremely positive," said Henrik Wenders, Head of Brand for Audi.
As for its F1 facility expansions, Audi hopes these will start the brand off on the right foot for 2026. Audi will compete in Formula 1 as a factory team in 2026, together with its strategic partner Sauber.
The Competence Center Motorsport opened in 2014, and Audi coordinates all of its factory racing efforts here, including F1. Everything from factory Audi R8 GT cars to the future F1 car will be built here. On the map below, you can see the building that will eventually house Audi's F1 arm.
The new F1 power unit and its components, including the ERS system, electric motor, battery, engine, and transmission, will all be built at the Neuburg facility.
Audi says around 50% of the drivetrain's power will be electric, as per the upcoming 2026 regulation shift. According to Oliver Hoffmann, Board Member for Technical Development, work has already started.
"Audi Neuburg was designed from the outset to be able to tackle the most demanding motorsport projects. This foresight is paying off. With the existing facilities, we were able to immediately begin with the Formula 1 project," says Hoffmann.
"The expansion will create the necessary infrastructure for the development of our F1 power unit for the long term. With the building extension and the installation of state-of-the-art test benches, we are giving our development team the best possible conditions to be successful in the top class of motorsport."
You can see the new building called F7.2 in the image above. Hopefully, Audi comes up with a better name for it.
The building will house roughly 60 employees and all the hardware they'll need to build an F1 car. That includes test benches for the motor, technical rooms, and a workshop. Moreover, the building will be greener than most.
Audi says the electricity and heat supply for the entire Neuburg facility is carbon-neutral, with heating supplied by industrial waste heat and electricity from hydroelectric power. It even says the FIA has given the facility its highest sustainability award.
In total, roughly 220 employees have been recruited, which will grow to around 300 by 2023.