Audi shows ambition for 2026
Audi will make its entry into Formula 1 in 2026. From that year, it will replace Alfa Romeo as partner of the Sauber F1 team. Audi will become Sauber's 'strategic partner', which includes developing engines for the German car brand. The joined forces of the two brands bode well. Indeed, Audi appears to have started work on rebuilding the factory to start preparing the new engines as soon as possible.
Volkswagen Group, Audi's parent organisation, was closely involved in consultations on the new regulations that will apply from 2026. Volkswagen was willing to join F1 with Porsche and Audi, but on specific conditions that had to do with sustainability of the fuel and the power unit itself. Now that the engine regulations for 2026 are fixed and Audi has a partner, work can begin. At Audi-mediacenter.com it is reported that renovations to the plant have begun.
Audi expands headquarters in a big way
A new 3,000-square-metre building will be erected at Audi's Competence Centre to house new test benches for developing the F1 engines. Technical Chief Oliver Hoffman says: "We have an ideal base for our F1 project. Audi Neuberg was once built with the plan to cope with the most challenging motorsport projects. The expansion will provide the necessary infrastructure for long-term F1 engine making."
The existing part of the centre is already of high quality and equipped with the best technology. The Audi RS Q e-tron, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid racing car, the Audi RS5 DTM and Audi's Formula E car have already been developed here. The brand is also proud of the fact that the plant is carbon-neutral in terms of energy consumption. The FIA has handed out an award to Audi for its sustainability awareness.
Besides expanding the workshops, Audi has also invested in its workforce. Already 220 employees are currently hired for the F1 project at the factory. By mid-2023, the team should consist of more than 300 people.