Audi Sport, the division responsible for Audi’s motorsport activities, has been a formidable presence in the racing world. The German brand competed in the World Rally Championship from 1982 to 1987, clinching two manufacturers’ titles. Additionally, it achieved four consecutive victories at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb from 1984 to 1987.
Audi’s Dominance in Le Mans and Endurance Racing 1999-2016
From 1999 to 2016, Audi also operated its own team in the sports-prototype category. During this period, they secured 13 wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and numerous titles in the American Le Mans Series and the FIA World Endurance Championship. Furthermore, Audi Sport offers the Audi R8 LMS versions for private and semi-official teams, achieving victories at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and the 24 Hours of Spa.
On October 26, 2016, the manufacturer announced its withdrawal from the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
In 2017, the automaker officially entered the FIA World Rallycross Championship, supporting the team of the reigning world champion Swede Mattias Ekström, who also competes in DTM with Audi.
Then, on May 2, 2022, Audi and Porsche, both part of the Volkswagen Group, declared their return to the Formula 1 World Championship in 2026.
Audi Sport Set to Enter Formula 1 in 2026, Expanding Legacy
Audi Sport is charting a new course by entering the exclusive realm of Formula 1. On Friday, August 26, the news broke: Audi confirmed its entry into the Formula 1 starting grid for the 2026 season, marking a first in the history of Audi Sport. This article delves deeper into this exciting development.
Volkswagen Group, through its Audi Sport division, will join the premier class of motor racing as an engine manufacturer. Audi has already made its mark in rally racing, endurance contests, and Formula E. Now, the brand with the four rings is logically extending its reach.
The move aligns with Formula 1’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. New regulations set for 2026 aim to use 100% sustainable fuels, aligning with Audi’s eco-responsibility goals. The German manufacturer’s commitment to environmental sustainability is already evident in its hybrid and fully electric models, such as the Audi Q4 e-tron and the groundbreaking RS e-tron GT, which represent continuously evolving innovations.
The renowned Volkswagen Group brand has promised more details about its driver lineup and the team it will collaborate with. There is much speculation about this upcoming partnership. Stay tuned, as we will bring you more information as it emerges!
Audi’s Neuburg Site: A New Era for German F1 Powertrains
Audi Sport’s Neuburg facility is set to become the development hub for their power unit, marking the first time in over ten years that an F1 powertrain will be constructed in Germany.
Duesmann, representing Audi, emphasized the brand’s deep-rooted connection with motorsport. “Motorsport is an integral part of Audi’s DNA,” he stated. He highlighted Formula 1 as a global platform for the brand and a highly challenging developmental arena. The blend of high performance and competitive spirit often drives innovation and technological advancements in the industry. With the introduction of new regulations, Duesmann believes now is the opportune moment for Audi’s involvement. He pointed out that both Formula 1 and Audi share ambitious sustainability objectives, aligning their goals and endeavors.
Hoffmann further elaborated on the transformative journey of Formula 1 towards sustainability, set to peak in 2026. “We can speak of a new Formula 1 in light of the major technological advancements the series is making,” he stated. Emphasizing Audi’s eagerness to be an active part of this transformation, Hoffmann noted that Audi aims to foster a close relationship between its Formula 1 project and AUDI AG’s Technical Development department, creating valuable synergies.
Audi Ramps Up F1 Prep at Neuburg; Adam Baker to Lead
Audi has revealed that their Neuburg facility is already equipped with test benches for F1 engine testing, as well as for testing electric motors and batteries. The company is currently focused on assembling the necessary personnel, buildings, and technical infrastructure by the end of the year. This preparation sets the stage for a three-year period of fine-tuning the Power Unit (PU) ahead of their entry into Formula 1.
Leading the Formula 1 project as CEO is Adam Baker, who brings a wealth of experience from holding senior positions in motorsport with various manufacturers and teams. His three-year tenure at the FIA adds a significant depth of understanding and insight to his leadership role in Audi’s ambitious F1 venture.
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