Audi and Porsche set to join Formula 1 from 2026

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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.

Autocar is awaiting comment from Audi, while Porsche said: “We do not comment on the statements, there is no new status from our side.”

Source: Autocar

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