Currently reading: Audi and Porsche set to join Formula 1 from 2026
Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said joining the sport will bring in revenue and showcase technology

Audi and Porsche will both enter Formula 1, Herbert Diess, CEO of parent company Volkswagen Group, has confirmed. 

During an online 'Dialogue with Diess' question-and-answer session, Diess said the group’s Audi and Porsche brands will both join the sport. “You just run out of arguments [not to join F1],” he said.

Diess also revealed that the decision to join F1 divided opinion among the Volkswagen Group board of directors, which was ultimately swayed to accept the decision because it will bring in more revenue than it will cost. 

He said it will be important for increasing brand value and an additional way to demonstrate technology to the competition.

He added that Porsche in particular will cut down other racing activities to focus on F1.

The decision was also influenced by F1’s new engine regulations, planned to be introduced for the 2026 season. 

"As [Audi chairman] Markus Duesman always tells me, you usually make up one second per season on a medium-sized race track simply by optimising details," Diess said.

"But you can't catch up on that when you join a new team: you need five or 10 years to be among the front-runners. In other words, you can only get on board if you have a major rule change.”

Diess also added that if the Volkswagen Group weren't to join F1 at this time, it would likely need to wait another 10 years for its next opportunity. 

"That's coming now, and it will also come in the direction of 2026, when the engines will be electrified to a much greater extent, including with synthetic fuels," he said. "That means you need a new engine development and you need three or four years to develop a new engine.

"That means you can decide now to do Formula 1 - or then probably not again for 10 years. And our two premium brands think that's the right thing to do and are prioritising it."

The capacity in which Audi and Porsche will join F1 isn’t yet clear. Porsche has been rumoured to partner with Red Bull Racing, while Audi has previously been linked with McLaren, but both firms have denied any collaboration or purchase.

"We do not comment on the statements, there is no new status from our side," Porsche told Autocar. 

Meanwhile, an Audi statement sent to Autocar said: "The Board of Management and Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Porsche AG and AUDI AG have confirmed plans for a potential Formula 1 entry of the two Group brands. The Audi and Porsche brands will provide details at a later date.

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“We have not yet made a decision as we are currently in the final evaluation phase. At this point, the new regulations for 2026 and subsequent years are not yet available.

"These will set out far-reaching changes to make the sport more sustainable, which is a prerequisite for Audi’s possible entry. Audi Sport is discussing these matters directly with the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)."

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Peter Cavellini 3 May 2022

It seems nowadays that we're all not easily pleased, nothing is ever correct, just about everyone can't be polite even when they know the poster gets it wrong,maybe because they're not as well informed as some?, maybe by answering them your helping them?, anyway,have more main stream brands wouldn't be good for F1, we have two just now, and they supply more than one team, aren't there enough teams in F1?, 23 races, do we need more?, the new rules that came in has helped make F1 more watchable for more people, yes,it's money driven for profit, but, how could they run it as non profit?, I want to see good F1.

Paul Dalgarno 3 May 2022

He didn't say the entries were confirmed, it's subject to the new engine regs being agreed, including new entrant financial advantages to allow for infrastructure investment. Complicated by Red Bull now having own engine division, and Porsche wanting to piggyback on this and also get the new entrant allowances.

289 - viewing figures are up like for like. I do agree that manufacturers are bad news in F1 however - I think they destroyed the sport with unfair spending, and the propensity to leave teams in the lurch and withdraw. I'm probably a dinosaur, but I'd ditch all the electric guff, go to ICE with pure biofuels. F1 shouldn't be an efficiency formula - blood and thunder please. Oh and sort out the damned tyre management too, that is not F1. 

Bob Cat Brian 3 May 2022

Unless Porsche AND Audi become THE two front running teams (at best there's only ever two front runners) at least one of the two is going to lose face. How does that look good for the corporate group?