German auto conglomerate Volkswagen could venture into F1 with the launch of its Audi and Porsche brands into motorsport from the 2026 season. While the company is yet to make any official announcement, a report in the F1 Insiders suggests Audi is working on a deal with RedBull, which will also turn an engine manufacturer from next year. While earlier there was speculation about a possible tie-up between Audi and Williams, the German brand’s partnership with RedBull is more likely for engine supply that may even retain the Audi branding.
The report stated that relevant decision-makers are working on the deal and the tie-up could receive a green signal for participation in 2026.
Former BMW engineer Adam Baker, who recently was roped in as the ‘executive for special tasks’ could be tasked to handle the F1 project of Audi with an intent to venture into the motorsport season in 2026.
However, this is not the first time that Redbull and Audi are in talks for a partnership. The two companies had almost struck a deal in 2015 before the diesel scandal averted their collaboration
In another significant development, Audi’s sister company Porsche is said to be in talks with McLaren for a possible partnership. McLaren currently is in a tie-up with Mercedes for engine supply. The entry of Audi and Porsche in the F1 will surely spice up the competition in the motorsport
The 2026 F1 season will see the implementation of the new engine regulations.
From the 2026 season, F1 engines need to be a V6 unit where the basic turbo architecture will remain unchanged. The electric power output, however, will reportedly shoot up to 350Kw. F1 intends to make the new engine simpler and more cost-effective than the current units used by the teams. The MGU-H which is currently used on F1 engine units to recover or store turbocharger energy might also be dropped from the 2026 season.