Audi might be looking at alternative teams if the deal falls through.
An undisclosed contact within the talks for Audi to join Formula One via a McLaren investment is becoming less plausible, according to a recent interview with Automotive News Europe. The unnamed source told Automotive News Europe that price estimates between the two automotive behemoths are now too far apart. Could this spell the end for Audi’s Formula One ambitions?
Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess disclosed that both Audi and Porsche want to join Formula One for the 2026 season in a “Dialog with Diess” livestream hosted in German on the official VW Group page on YouTube. This amazing news verified months of speculation about Audi and Porsche entering Formula One.
Both Audi and Porsche will enter Formula One, according to Diess, because the highly competitive environment is ideal for promoting these well-known luxury brands. The planned 2026 regulation revisions, according to the VW Group CEO, are the ideal time to enter the sport. This is mainly because of F1’s plan to phase in fully sustainable fuels to run their internal combustion engines which feeds into VW Group’s focus on green technology.
Both Audi and Porsche have begun designing their own engines for the 2026 Formula One season, but it is yet unclear how they want to enter the race.
According to speculations, Porsche could join Redbull as an engine supplier, replacing Honda, who announced its departure from Formula One in 2021 after Redbull driver Max Verstappen won the World Drivers Championship.
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As for Audi, rumors suggested they would invest heavily in the McLaren F1 team to secure a controlling stake and supply its new engine to the team. The McLaren F1 team currently uses a Mercedes-AMG sourced powertrain to power its Formula One car.
According to the newest leak supplied by Automotive News Europe, this intriguing new prospect is in risk, since pricing appears to be a sticking point between McLaren and Audi. According to rumours, Audi is also considering teams such as Alpha Romeo, which is owned by the independent racing company Sauber and uses Ferrari engines, and Aston Martin, a smaller F1 squad.
Source: Automotive News Europe