POLL: Porsche and Audi’s Formula 1 interest

Porsche and Audi have moved closer to joining the F1 grid

It is growing increasingly likely that both Audi and Porsche will find their way onto the Formula 1 grid when the sport introduces its new power unit regulations for 2026.

In this week’s Pirtek Poll, we want to know if you’d like to see the two German brands in F1 in future.

Strangely, both companies fall under the Volkswagen Audi Group umbrella, meaning should both brands find their way into the sport, it’d be a double-programme for the group.

Of course, neither need much by way of an introduction in motorsport terms, though their involvement in grand prix racing is perhaps less well known.

Porsche is arguably the better known of the two, having produced engines that won world championships with McLaren during the 1980s.

Niki Lauda’s final title came with TAG-Porsche power in 1984, Alain Prost winning the drivers’ title the following two years also with the operation.

Prior to that, Dan Gurney won the 1962 French Grand Prix at a time when the marque ran a factory F1 team, though the Stuttgart brand is best known for its sportscar programmes.

During the 1970s and 1980s it was a force at Le Mans, and most recently won the event three times in a row with the 919 from 2015.

Audi has also dominated Le Mans, winning the race on 13 occasions from 2000 to 2015. It’s also been successful in the World Rally Championship during the Group B era in the 1980s.

Lesser known, however, is the four-ringed brand’s pre-war success in grand prix racing.

Audi was part of the Auto Union brand which included DKW, Horch, and Wanderer, and resulted in the Ferdinand Porsche designed rear-engined Type D.

It enjoyed success particularly with Bernd Rosemeyer who won the 1936 European Championship, the precursor to the Formula 1 world championship that followed World War II.

A move into F1 has long been rumoured, with claims that it had bought out McLaren last year, which were promptly and firmly denied by the British operation.

Current paddock scuttlebutt suggests a tie-up between Porsche and Red Bull Powertrains, that will see the 2026 power units currently under development effectively be branded.

There is potential for that to become a partnership, though Christian Horner has admitted the Powertrains operation was set up as a standalone business and isn’t dependent on such a deal.

Audi, meanwhile, is expected to come in with greater investment, with the link to McLaren having resurfaced.

There is also talk of Alfa Romeo Sauber being bought out, after the Swiss team had last year been in negotiations with Michael Andretti.

For the moment there is no guaranteed commitment from either Porsche or Audi, though the VW supervisrory board has given them the green light to join the F1 grid.

Neither is expected to join the sport prior to new power unit regulations coming into force for 2026, which are expected to include a greater focus on renewable and sustainable fuels.

That’s certainly on brand for Porsche, which has plans to open an efuels facility in Australia – one of a number it’s looking at globally.

The F1 grid has seen a number of automotive brands join the fray in some capacity in recent years.

Alpine has been given naming rights on the squad that was formerly Renault, the latter still officially the power unit supplier to the team with Alpine a subsidiary of the French marque.

A similar branding deal sees the Sauber team officially known as Alfa Romeo, while Honda has tenuous involvement with branding remaining on the airbox of Red Bull despite effectively ending its power unit programme, and selling the intellectual property to the Milton Keynes squad, last year.

What do you think: would you like to see Porsche and Audi on the Formula 1 grid in some capacity? Cast your vote below in this week’s Pirtek Poll.

Pirtek Poll

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