Currently reading: Audi set to announce 2026 F1 entry early next year
Manufacturer has notified the FIA that it is "close to the finish line" on making a final decision

Audi has described itself as “close to the finish line” in its deliberations on entering Formula 1 in a letter written to the sport’s governing body, the FIA, and seen by Autocar.

The Volkswagen Group has been evaluating entries for Audi and Porsche from 2026, when major rule changes are planned to introduce new, more environmentally conscious powertrains and reduce costs of competing substantially. It has been included in discussions regarding new technical regulations as a result, including a renewed focus on using sustainable fuels and more electrical assistance.

In the letter, addressed to outgoing FIA president Jean Todt, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann and Oliver Hoffmann, its head of technical development, wrote: “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.”

The letter goes on to highlight that any decision to enter the sport must still be approved by the supervisory board of the Volkswagen Group, but adds: “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.”

There is no news on whether Porsche could compete as well, or whether the Volkswagen Group will opt instead to just enter Audi, in what would be billed as a head-to-head with arch-rival Mercedes.

It is also unclear if Audi intends to enter the sport as a full factory team or as an engine supplier. It is believed that talks with McLaren and Red Bull about a partnership are ongoing, potentially with equity stakes in the race teams being discussed.

However, while McLaren has acknowledged 'early stage’ talks with Audi, it has said that other potential partners are also in discussions with it, with a view to investing either in the race team or the entire group of companies.

Additional reporting by Dieter Rencken

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Jeremy 21 December 2021

@ 289 - Agree 100%.

405line 21 December 2021

What this is about as far as I can tell is E-fuel, you know VAG never enter a sport without some sort of "advantage" in this case it's E-fuel or synthetic which I believe off-the-cuff is a Porsche speciality or something VAG have given to Porsche to work on.

289 21 December 2021

You may be onto something here 405line.

But if all motorsport is moving to synthetic fuels (other than EV motorsport which for me doesn't count), where is the angle for VWG to make them unique?

289 21 December 2021

Madness....complete waste of money (Audi or Porsche).

Honda has ploughed hundreds of millions over decades into F1, and it hasn't made Honda 'sexy' or desirable at all. They still struggle to get onto buyers short lists and in this country have the whiff of 'Blue Rinse' about them. Their tenure in Europe is even in doubt.

Audi made itself cool through Rallying, Porsche through long distance sports car racing (and rallying to a lesser extent) ....arguably neither brands need to prove anything to anyone anymore, both brands being strong and desirable. So any motorsport involvement is frankly an ego trip.

F1 is hugely expensive (even as a an engine supplier), the returns to either of these fabled brands would be questionable at best.

martin12345 21 December 2021

I don't think VW (Audi/Porsche) or Honda really care what we think in Europe.  What they care about is China and the rest of Asia where I can only assume they have done their market research and they believe F1 is worth the money because in the Asian markets the "masses" know nothing about Le Mans or Rallying and they do know the recognition Mercedes has got from F1 and how (at least Mercedes absolutely believes) it is a highly cost effective form of advertising of technical prowess 

I doubt they will enter as an engine manufacturer, they either want their name on the car or not at all I think