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Audi confirms Formula 1 entry from 2026 as sport welcomes Volkswagen brand

Audi confirms entry as engine manufacturer from 2026; Fellow Volkswagen brand Porsche also expected to join; Audi expected to have link-up with Sauber, who currently run under the Alfa Romeo banner; Watch the Belgian GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend

Audi will enter F1 in 2026
Image: Audi will enter F1 in 2026

Audi has confirmed its Formula 1 entry from 2026.

The luxury brand has only announced they are manufacturing engines from 2026 so far, although are expected to have a tie-up with Sauber once they enter the sport in four years.

The entry of the Volkswagen-owned brands Audi and Porsche into F1 has been one of the sport's worst-kept secrets in recent months, and Audi were the first to confirm their plans ahead of this weekend's Belgian GP.

Audi were previously linked with a partnership with McLaren but have reportedly turned their attentions to Sauber, who currently run under the Alfa Romeo banner but have been in talks with other brands.

Alfa Romeo confirmed later on Friday that they were ending their title sponsorship deal with Sauber at the end of the 2023 season, opening the door for Porsche

Audi, whose announcement comes weeks after the 2026 engine rules were confirmed, will develop engines from their German base, with the chassis still expected to be developed at Sauber's Switzerland base.

The new generation of F1 engines will feature increased electrical power and 100% sustainable fuels.

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"I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator," said F1 president Stefano Domenicali.

"This is a major moment for our sport that highlights the huge strength we have as a global platform that continues to grow.

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Daniel Ricciardo sits down with Rachael Brookes to discuss his exit from McLaren.

"It is also a big recognition that our move to sustainably fueled hybrid engines in 2026 is a future solution for the automotive sector. We are all looking forward to seeing the Audi logo on the grid and will be hearing further details from them on their plans in due course."

Adam Baker, who has previously worked with the FIA, will run the project as CEO.

Volkswagen's German rivals Mercedes have dominated F1 for much of the last decade but the manufacturing giant has not previously been involved with the sport.

It has, though, worked with Red Bull in the world rally championship.

It is expected that Porsche will link up with Red Bull, who they have been linked with for several years and who have their own Powertrains Division focused on the 2026 changes.

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Anthony Davidson takes us around the changes at the Spa track ahead of the Belgian GP.

Speaking about the luxury brands' potential arrival earlier this year, Lewis Hamilton said: "I think it's great that we're going to get new manufacturers within the sport, especially as you see there are several teams who have potential to be top teams but are customer teams, so I think it's going to be great moving forwards."

Max Verstappen added: "I think it's very exciting and very important for Formula 1 as well.

"Of course we have great teams, but to have really great brands behind it is really nice. I'm looking forward to what the future will bring."

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