Carmaker Audi will be part of Formula 1 for the 2026 season. This was announced at a press conference during the Formula 1 race in Spa on Friday. Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, and Oliver Hoffmann, Board Member for Technical Development, are currently in Spa, where the Belgian Grand Prix is ​​taking place at the weekend.

Soccer, Formula 1, tennis and more in a sports package

It is not yet known for which team Audi will supply the drive unit. However, there is speculation that Audi will probably support the Sauber team, which is currently competing under the name Alfa Romeo

“I’m very pleased to be here for this really, really special moment,” said Audi CEO Markus Duesmann during a press conference ahead of the Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, along with the bosses of the racing series: “We’ll be in Formula 1 in 2026 drive.” In less than four years, Audi will be on the grid, which is not that long, said Duesmann.

The car manufacturer has not yet named the partner for its plans. “Audi will communicate a decision as to which team to start with in 2026 by the end of the year,” Audi said in a press release. Formula 1 had made it palatable for car manufacturers like Audi to get started. From 2023, the tightened budget limit will drop further to $135 million per racing team. It makes getting started financially easier to plan.

Much more important: The racing series has created a rule compromise. From 2026, the hybrid engines are to be operated with 100 percent sustainable fuel. The combustion engine in the unit should only contribute 50 percent of the power, the rest is electric.

That fits with the future direction of the auto industry. “With the new regulations, now is exactly the right time for us to get started. Because Formula 1 and Audi are both pursuing clear sustainability goals,” explained Duesmann.

Racing series boss Stefano Domenicali raved about a great day at the Pk in Belgium. World Association boss Mohammed bin Sulayem spoke of “a milestone”.

With the transformation to electromobility, the XXL project Formula 1 can also be sold internally. “We got the promise that we would get more money to Wolfsburg with Formula 1 than without Formula 1,” said the outgoing VW boss Herbert Diess.

At the beginning of April, the board of directors and supervisory board of the parent company Volkswagen gave the green light for Audi and Porsche to plan “for a possible entry into Formula 1”. Nevertheless, the commitment is controversial internally, especially the plans to start with two group subsidiaries. Porsche will probably form an alliance with the Red Bull team of world champion Max Verstappen.

Audi does not get in for a ride. With the commitment, which costs hundreds of millions of euros, you want to show off your technical superiority. The promotionally effective radiance of Formula 1 only really unfolds if it is successful. “Motorsport is an integral part of the Audi DNA,” said Duesmann: “Formula 1 is both a global stage for our brand and a demanding development laboratory.”

1. FC Köln cleared the Féhérvar hurdle. Thanks to a 3-0 win in the playoff second leg in Hungary, the billy goats are in the group stage of the Europa Conference League. The Cologne team surprisingly lost the first leg 2-1. The game to read in the ticker log.

FC Bayern meets Robert Lewandowski’s FC Barcelona in the Champions League. For BVB there is a reunion with Erling Haaland. RB Leipzig has to go to Real Madrid, while Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt get feasible lots. The draw to read in the ticker.

That will not be easy! FC Bayern will face Robert Lewandowski’s FC Barcelona in the Champions League, and BVB will face Erling Haaland’s Manchester City. RB Leipzig is hit hard, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt seem to be lucky.