Audi On Track To Confirm Formula 1 Entry In Early 2022

Last Updated: December 22, 2021By Tags: , , , ,

Rumours of Volkswagen Group (re)entering Formula 1 either through Audi F1 or Porsche F1 has been in circulation for three decades since its departure from the grid. Over the course of the last 18 months, however, momentum has been steadily building, with the proverbial wheels greased by: 1. incoming (major) rule changes surrounding new technical regulations, 2. the introduction of more environmentally-friendly powertrains, and 3. revising the financial aspect of competition — to the point it would appear VW is now prepared to formally commit.

During a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, the framework for the 2026 power unit regulations was outlined “… with the aim of using 100% sustainable fuels and a shift of focus to more electrical power”; effectively reducing the costs for existing manufacturers and newcomers by a significant margin. Shortly after, outgoing FIA President Jean Todt and Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali received a letter from Audi CEO Markus Duesmann and Head of Technical Development Oliver Hoffmann, expressing approval for the motorsport’s current trajectory:

“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.”

At this stage, details still haven’t been locked in just yet. There’s no word on whether Audi will simply be an engine supplier or gun for a full-package deal (car, engine, team) to take on arch-rival Mercedes. Fun fact: Audi’s letter also expressed approval for hosting a fair competition “literally until the last lap of the season”; directly referencing the controversial title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen lol.

According to Autocar, there are ongoing discussions between Audi and McLaren, Audi and Red Bull surrounding the prospect of a partnership, potentially with equity stakes in each respective race team. Whether VW intends to double down and enter Porsche in tandem is another question mark. All we know is that any scenario will require considerable time. The earliest you’ll see those four iconic rings on an F1 livery – or the unmistakable horse crest – will be 2026 (when the incoming regulations are implemented).

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