Increased Competition: Porsche & Audi To Join F1
With the right drivers and strategies in place, both Volkswagen-owned brands can possibly make a mark when it enters the race in 2026.
When it comes to the stirring world of racing, the buzz never stops. Aside from the main event of sleek Formula One cars zooming on the tracks, we are also left on the edge of our seats when rumours reach our eager ears. This week, on 2 May and before the hotly anticipated Miami Grand Prix weekend, one of many rumours has been debunked. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess announced that Porsche and Audi will be joining the F1 grid in 2026.
According to Diess, the board was initially divided on the proposal of entering the world’s top motorsport event. However, it was concluded that joining the race will generate more money for the group.
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The German-born businessman added that “the timing of the decision has been heavily impacted by the sport’s new engine regulations”, coming into effect for the 2026 season, as per Sky Sports. Engines will be electrified to a greater extent, including synthetic fuels.
Diess has also expressed enticing reasons for the two Volkswagen-owned brands to enter: F1’s focus on sustainability, growth in Asia and the United States, as well as increasing popularity amongst younger generations.
Porsche plans to have a long-term partnership with Red Bull Racing — having won four Constructors’ Championships and also last year’s Formula One World Championship, led by the fierce Max Verstappen. The new team will be called Red Bull-Porsche and the German brand will be cutting down on other racing activities to focus on F1.
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Additionally, Red Bull’s engine team is set to build and redesign the power engines for the F1 2026 season. Before this, Porsche succeeded in F1 as an engine supplier to McLaren in the ‘80s, branded as TAG/Porsche up till 1987. The manufacturer was also an engine supplier for British racing team Footwork in 1991.
Meanwhile, Audi intends on offering US$556.3 million to acquire McLaren, which is doing impressively well so far, with English driver Lando Norris standing fourth in the power rankings after a tricky race in the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The German automobile manufacturer is reportedly in talks with Sauber, Williams and Aston Martin as well.
This means that the paddock and tracks in 2026 might be more thrilling than ever, even though there have been countless historical moments across the years, including the riveting drama between Mercedes and Red Bull last year. F1 fans can certainly expect greater driving and a potential reshuffling of positions on the F1 Standings, especially with Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc leading now, Germany based Mercedes still determined in competing and all other teams gearing up in the race for the championship title.
Newcomer Volkswagen may very well be an unassailable force if it manages to sign promising drivers. Will audiences see new drivers being promoted into F1 or current leading drivers switch teams? Or perhaps past contenders will make a comeback? Either way, it is clear to say that team principals are already planning and setting their sights on winning strategies.
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