White smoke for Audi and Porsche


A few more days of patience and the Arlesian of F1 should come to an end: the two brands of the Volkswagen group will be at the start of the Grands Prix in 2026. All the details of the saga…

There is now no longer any doubt, although discussions continue on the final details of the post-2025 engine regulations: Porsche will in principle formalize its partnership with Red Bull Racing at the next Austrian Grand Prix in July, while ‘Audi is currently carrying out a friendly takeover bid for Sauber.

Admittedly, the last details of the hybrid powertrains of the future have yet to be finalized, which will give pride of place to electrification and synthetic fuel, dear to the German group wishing to turn the page on the « diesel gate », but the players in the file have agreed.

The engine manufacturers currently involved, however, are choosy about the limited budget for them and open development for newcomers until the homologation of their V6 turbo in 2026, which they consider as an unfair « boost ».

The FIA ​​and Formula 1 welcome VW with open arms.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem decided by guaranteeing the VW Group the adoption of the new regulations by the World Council on June 29, against the advice of its Secretary General Peter Bayer (favorable to the teams in place) and who had to suddenly dismissed with immediate effect.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault will therefore have to make do with Audi and Porsche, which had already obtained the removal of the complex MGU-H system (exhaust gas energy recovery), without any further attempt at lobbying, no offense to them…

Porsche will ensure the development of its engines.

However, the agreement between Porsche and Red Bull would not be based on a pure and simple takeover of the Red Bull Powertrains department recently set up in Milton Keynes to exploit the Honda V6 blocks, the intellectual property of which remains with the Japanese manufacturer.

The Japanese brand should suddenly make yet another return to F1 in 2026 with Scuderia AlphaTauri, with Red Bull’s blank check, Porsche designing the power units for the Red Bull Racing team alone.

Honda could return in 2026 with AlphaTauri.

At the same time, Audi’s commitment to Formula 1 is taking shape through a stake in Sauber Engineering, the company that owns the Swiss team known as the Alfa Romeo F1 Team but whose owner is ready to enhance his investment by multiplying it by ten, a nice achievement in the space of seven years!

Michael Andretti had already tried to convince Swedish billionaire Finn Rensing to hand over the team to him, but the latter wanted to keep 20% of the shares and some form of control: with potentially six manufacturers present in the unchanged pool of ten teams, the candidacy of ‘Andretti Global was bluntly rejected by decision makers at Liberty Media.

Audi Sport will enter as a full team.

Audi would have already acquired 25% of Sauber, with 50% to follow and therefore a quarter of the shares which would remain in the hands of Rensing. The firm with the rings would thus be a competitor in its own right, chassis and engine, unlike its cousin Porsche.

His entry into F1 could also correspond to the return to Hinwil of a certain Sebastian Vettel, who started in Grand Prix with Sauber in 2007 for BMW, who will be 38 years old in 2026, younger than Fernando Alonso today or Kimi Räikkönen yesterday. …

Will Vettel come full circle at Hinwil 20 years later?


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