Audi and Porsche’s entry into Formula 1 in 2026 appears to be a mere formality, but according to track rumors, the way the Volkswagen Group brands will approach the 1s will vary widely.
With regulations in line with the conglomerate’s wishes, the giants from Ingolstadt and those from Zuffenhausen are within an official announcement of entry into the first category and there are some rumors about how this will be achieved.
Either manufacturer has two prospects for entering the world of Grand Prix — either entering as an engine supplier, as Honda is doing this year, or assuming itself as a full-fledged competitor, with access to Concordia agreement money, for example, a team.
According to rumors, Audi and Porsche will go their separate ways, with the former choosing to acquire a team and the latter to take over the engine supply.
The big question will be what lineup the Ingolstadt brand will buy and who will Zuffenhausen lend its power units to.
The Porsche mode seems to be the simplest of all. Red Bull and Volkswagen have had a long relationship, and in discussions to determine engine regulation for the next cycle, they were politically allied, which was crucial to some German desires to advance against resistance from Ferrari, Renault and above. Everything, Mercedes.
Furthermore, with Red Bull you are building and building a center for designing and building Formula 1 power units, and there is little difficulty coming to an understanding, and so they begin to reach Milton Keynes engineers and technicians within a short distance of the Volkswagen Group. It will be a re-creation of the cocktail that brought Porsche so successfully in the 1980s, and then with McLaren.
These engines will be used by Red Bull, which will be the German manufacturer’s official team, and have also been given to Audi for use in its single-seater, as they will be named after the latter.
The Ingolstadt brand prefers to buy a team, but at the moment there are very few available, as Ferrari, Mercedes, Alpine and Aston Martin are not for sale for obvious reasons and neither are Red Bull domain chassis.
That leaves Haas, who has deep ties to Ferrari and Sauber, who is expected to fall into the hands of Andretti Autosports, McLaren and Williams.
These last two teams are led by two men who know the Volkswagen Group well – Andreas Seidl led the Porsche LMP1 project and Joost Capito was the Volkswagen team leader when he dominated the World Rally Championship scene.
At first glance, McLaren, a full-fledged automaker, appears to have died at birth, but since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been in financial trouble, having sold some of its assets.
The question is whether the shareholder structure, led by Mumtalakat Holdings, which owns 56.4% of McLaren Group shares, is willing to continue paying the bills or will it see a way in an offer from a major builder. to leave the group. In a graceful way and still with some money in his pocket.
The problem will be figuring out what to do with McLaren Automotive, since Audi already controls Lamborghini, a direct competitor to the Woking brand.
Controlling Williams would be much simpler and cheaper. In this case, Audi would only buy the Formula 1 team, without any associated car manufacturers, and would not have to find a solution, as is the case with McLaren.
However, it will be necessary to make a greater investment in the infrastructure of the team, which today is not at the level of large teams. However, Capito’s connection to the Volkswagen Group may facilitate a greater connection that translates into an approximation of the two entities so that, in 2026, Williams will be in a position to represent Audi.
So, there is no official announcement, but it seems that both Porsche and Audi have two tracks set for entry into Formula 1.
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