Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

General

Audi names season in which it wants to compete for wins in F1

25 December at 16:45
  • GPblog.com

Audi will participate in Formula 1 from 2026, both as a constructor and an engine manufacturer. From 2023, it will gradually take over Sauber's team before actually entering the grid in 2026 with its own team and power unit. Adam Baker, the head of Audi, told AS that he is very confident about the project.

As a new engine manufacturer in Formula 1, you always have a certain disadvantage because you have a lot less experience than established names like Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull Powertrains. Yet Audi thinks it already needs too many seasons to be competitive.

Good time for F1 entry

"We are aware of the challenge ahead of us. For Audi, entering in 2026 is attractive because we decided early. We have 42 months until the first race. If we look at the past 30 years, it must have been one of the earliest decisions by a manufacturer," Baker stated. "Also, 2026 is the beginning of a regulatory cycle, whereas others have usually entered in the middle of a cycle. The power sources will change, but so will the chassis. In a way, the advantage of competitors with more experience may fall away and it will be easier for new manufacturers to compete."

When asked how long will it really take to become competitive? "We want to be competitive within three years. That is a realistic goal. We want to compete for wins in the third year," so Baker seems to be aiming at 2028. Andreas Seidl will have to manage the project. He comes over from McLaren's team and will spend the next three years preparing to then become team boss.

Audi and a customer team

The top man was also asked whether Audi would be interested in supplying engines to a customer team. "We could be obliged by the FIA to supply engines according to the rules. If that happens, we will definitely be ready. But at the moment we are not looking for a customer team, it is too early for that. We will focus on our factory programme."