Audi and Porsche are no strangers to F1 rumors. Porsche alone has been rumored to join the series in 2010, 2014, 2019, and March of last year. Unusually, though, the most recent rumor seems to have popped up every few months since and slowly developed more and more details. The latest is the closest thing to a direct confirmation yet, an official acknowledgement from Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess that plans to eventually join the F1 engine manufacturer pool are very much in play for both Porsche and Audi.
Diess, who was speaking in a Q&A with residents of Wolfsburg, shared that both companies are targeting the 2026 season for their respective debuts as part of the category's new generation of engine regulations. He notes that this major technical change, one built in part around the synthetic fuels that Porsche has made a significant future goal, opens a door for both brands to enter the category on equal footing that may not open again for a decade.
While existing rumors indicate that Porsche is most likely to tie up with Red Bull as a replacement for their existing plan to switch to internally-designed engines in 2026, Audi's plans are less clear. Rumors of a McLaren acquisition were quickly denied in November of last year, but they indicate that Audi may be willing to do something dramatic to enter the series with a splash in the near future.
Both Porsche and Audi have spent the past decade between sports car racing and Formula E. While Audi recently both canceled its Formula E program and put the pause on its 2023 Le Mans program, Porsche is currently pushing ahead with plans for both series and has already begun testing its 2023 Le Mans racer. While Reuters reports that Porsche would "reduce other racing activities" as part of the push for a spot on the F1 grid, it would be surprising to see a brand that made its name at Le Mans plan to cut its most ambitious new development of the decade entirely before it ever debuts.
You Might Also Like