Audi has denied reports that it is reconsidering its decision to enter Formula One in 2026. Despite rumours to the contrary, the Volkswagen-owned brand remains committed to acquiring the Sauber F1 Team and developing its own power unit in line with new FIA regulations.
An Audi spokesman told total-motorsport.com some weeks ago that “Audi’s entry into Formula One in 2026 is based on a decision by the Board of Management of Audi AG, in agreement with the Supervisory Board of Audi AG and the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group,”
The spokesman went on to say that the plan to develop the new engine “remains unchanged”. Despite the explicit denial, the concise nature of the statement has caught the attention of observers within the F1 paddock and sparked further speculation.
Verified source confirms Audi having doubts
Audi’s rebuttal comes in the wake of a report from Le Mans Radio, a generally reliable source, that a decision to scrap the F1 project is likely to be taken at Volkswagen’s upcoming board meeting this month. This website reported on the matter just a few weeks ago – READ MORE
The swirling rumours have significant implications for the FIA, as the organisation has been in negotiations with Audi and Porsche for nearly a decade to bring them into the sport as OEM manufacturers.
As it stands, Audi has categorically denied any change in its Formula One plans, but the brevity of the official statement, coupled with the upcoming Volkswagen board meeting, has ensured that this story will be one to watch closely over the coming weeks.
According to a recent report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, Audi is reviewing its plans to enter Formula One. The development comes amid a management shake-up and the implementation of cost-cutting measures at the carmaker.
Audi Management reshuffle
Sources within Volkswagen, Audi’s parent company, have indicated that the decision to reconsider F1 entry is closely linked to recent changes in the management structure. Earlier this month, Markus Duesmann, the former Audi CEO who was the main catalyst for Audi’s F1 venture, was replaced by Gernot Doellner.
As well as the management changes, the company is also reviewing its spending. Given the huge costs associated with entering and maintaining a presence in Formula One – from development and production to staffing and logistics – it is understandable that Audi’s new leadership may want to reassess the plan carefully.
In response to Spiegel’s request for an official statement, Audi confirmed that the plan to enter Formula One had been approved by all key internal bodies, including the management and supervisory boards, as well as by its parent company, Volkswagen.
Audi also claimed that the timetable for its F1 entry remains unchanged. The company announced last year that it intended to enter the elite motorsport from 2026, partnering with an existing team and using a new power unit to be developed and built in Germany.
Uncertain future or temporary pause?
The news raises the question of whether Audi’s pivot is a short-term reassessment or a sign of a more significant change of direction. Given that Audi’s initial commitment to F1 was largely driven by former CEO Markus Duesmann, it remains to be seen how his successor Gernot Doellner will steer the company’s motorsport ambitions.
For fans of both Audi and F1, the period of reflection is one of both curiosity and concern. Will Audi proceed as originally planned, or will the review lead to a complete U-turn on its F1 ambitions?
It’s a momentous decision, involving multiple layers of strategy, investment and long-term vision for the brand. For now, officially Audi says the timeline remains intact, but only time will tell if the company will indeed make its long-awaited F1 debut in 2026.
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