Audi and Porsche step up F1 interest
By Mat Coch
Friday 8th April, 2022 - 12:44pm
Porsche and Audi have seemingly stepped up their interest in entering Formula 1 in some capacity from 2026.
The two companies, both members of the Volkswagen Audi Group, have long been linked with a move into the sport and have been involved in discussions regarding the next generation of power unit.
It seems those have reached a satisfactory place for the marques, with reports in Germany claiming a meeting of the VW supervisory board gave the green light for both Audi and Porsche to join the F1 grid.
“It’s great news for Formula 1 that two brands like that are looking at entering Formula 1,” said Red Bull’s Christian Horner.
“Of course, it’d be natural for us to hold discussions with them.”
Red Bull is in the process of standing up its own powertrains division.
Officially, the Red Bull Powertrains business produces the engines which power both the Red Bull and AlphaTauri cars.
That follows Honda’s withdrawal from F1 at the end of last season, though a relationship with the Japanese firm sees it still construct and service the units, even if the ongoing support model has changed.
Going forward, the plan is for RBPT to break away from Honda entirely and it has been linked with the likes of Porsche and Audi previously.
Logically, having that relationship in place for 2026 as new power unit regulations come into play therefore makes sense, even though the project was set up without the need for a partnership with a manufacturer.
“It would be very easy [to work with a partner], but it would have to be with the right partner,” Horner said.
“It would therefore be logical for us to hold discussions with both OEMs, any serious OEM.
“For us, Powertrains is ongoing, it’s on schedule, and we’re really excited about the talent that we’ve managed to attract into the business.”
McLaren has also been linked with partnering with one of the German brands, though that has previously been heavily refuted by the team.
It currently has a relationship with Mercedes, having switched its power unit supply from Renault in time for the 2020 F1 season.