OFFICIAL: Porsche And Audi Join Formula 1

Formula One / 12 Comments

The VW Group's CEO made the announcement.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year, you would have read the rumors about Porsche and Audi joining F1. We're happy to report that this is no longer a rumor but a fact.

In a YouTube Livestream called "Dialog with Diess," the Volkswagen Group's CEO, Herbert Diess, finally confirmed it.

Diess said that Volkswagen would not partake in F1 as it doesn't fit in with the brand image, but Porsche and Audi will compete once the new rules are introduced in 2026. Diess named the 2026 regulation change the perfect opportunity to join the highest form of motorsport.

The decision is also timely, as VW's top management earlier stated that engineers require roughly four years to develop a new powertrain. In short, the teams need to start working now to be ready for the 2026 season.

Jeroen Claus
Jeroen Claus
Jeroen Claus
Jeroen Claus

Apart from dropping parts that do not apply to road cars, F1 cars will run on 100 percent synthetic fuel by 2026. This puts Porsche in a prime position to build an epic powertrain as it has been one of the main driving forces behind this fuel.

When asked why F1 and not another form of motorsport, Diess was quite candid. "If you look at the major sporting events or events in the world, it's the case that in motorsport, it's really only Formula 1 that counts and is becoming increasingly differentiated. If you do motorsport, you should do Formula 1, as that's where the impact is greatest. What's more, you can't enter Formula 1 unless a technology window opens up, which means, to get in there, a rule change: so that everyone starts again from the same place," said Diess.

F1's viewership figures have become too big to ignore.

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How the two brands will enter the sport has not been revealed yet, but if these rumors are true, the other stories might be as well.

Since the rumors started, Porsche has been tied to Red Bull, which makes sense given that RB recently lost its main engine supplier.

Audi has been shopping around McLaren, both on the F1 and road car side. The two could work together on an F1 powertrain and a road car to replace the outgoing R8. Or F1's battery tech could serve as a marketing platform for Audi, which seems to be more serious about going EV than most manufacturers.

Not everyone on the VW Group's board was keen to enter the F1 world.

"The discussion on the Board was not unanimous. We certainly have other priorities strategically. It's not necessarily motorsport, but our cars have to be technically up to date, we have to be able to drive autonomously, we need the software capabilities, we need batteries for our cars. We have enough to do and we don't really need to do Formula 1," were some of the counterarguments mentioned by Diess.

McLaren/Facebook
McLaren/Facebook
McLaren/Facebook

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