At an event on Monday, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbet Diess said that both Audi and Porsche will join Formula 1 in the near future, as reported by Reuters.
Audi and Porsche will likely join in 2026 when new technical regulations focused around a sustainable synthetic fuel are introduced, with Porsche already invested in the technology.
Diess did not specify how the brands would enter the sport, but Audi is expected to buy an existing team while Porsche will become an engine supplier, possibly for Red Bull Racing.
For years, Audi and Porsche have hinted at their desire to join Formula 1. Over the past year, the rumors have continued to build, and now it appears it might finally be happening. At an event in Wolfsburg, Germany on Monday, Volkswagen Group chief executive officer Herbert Diess confirmed that both Audi and Porsche had received approval for the Volkswagen Group to enter Formula 1, according to a report by Reuters.
Diess explained that discussions among the brands’ board of directors regarding the sport had caused some rifts to form, but ultimately Audi and Porsche were able to assure their parent company that joining Formula 1 would be a net more money than it would cost. Diess did not detail how the two brands will enter the sport, but rumors have pointed to Audi attempting to purchase an existing team—either McLaren or Sauber—while Porsche aims to enter as an engine manufacturer, with Red Bull named as a possible partner.
According to Diess, Porsche’s plan to join Formula 1 is a bit more solidified than Audi’s at the moment. As Motor1 reported, Diess is eyeing the rule changes planned for 2026—which will bring new cars and engines that will run on a fully sustainable synthetic fuel—as the optimal time for the two brands to enter the ring. Porsche has been investing heavily in synthetic fuels in a bid to promote the longevity of its internal-combustion road cars such as the 911, and Formula 1 will give Porsche a chance to develop the technology through motorsport while tying the road cars to the team. The rule changes will also mean that all teams are starting from the same position, giving Porsche and Audi a better shot at being competitive right off the bat.
Diess has clearly noticed Formula 1’s rapid growth in the United States and around the world in the wake of the "Drive to Survive" Netflix show and the increased social media presence since Liberty Media’s takeover of the series in 2017. The executive cited Formula 1’s strength as an advertising platform, and said that Porsche will shift away from other motorsports to focus on Formula 1. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Porsche’s Formula E team fall by the wayside, since Porsche seems committed to the GT racing. While Diess’ statements were not paired with an official confirmation from Formula 1 that Audi and Porsche will be joining the grid, it is the closest thing yet in a long line of growing rumors, and a full announcement is expected to come later this year.
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