Engine manufacturer Audi will enter F1 with 2026 season and new powerplant regulations

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JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images
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SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — German manufacturer Audi will enter Formula One in 2026 in line with new F1 engine regulations, chairman Markus Duesmann said on Friday.

Audi will manufacture its own power unit in an era when there will be a greater emphasis on sustainable fuels and an increased electrical component in engines.

From 2026, the electric power output for the power units, consisting of an electric motor, battery, control electronics, and a combustion engine, will increase. The electric motor will then be nearly as powerful as the combustion engine and the highly efficient 1.6-liter turbo engines will run on advanced sustainable fuel – which Audi says was a prerequisite for entry into the series.

“I want to officially announce that Audi has officially registered as PU (power unit) Formula One manufacturer. So in 2026 we will start racing in F1,” Audi chief executive Markus Duesmann said at the Belgian Grand Prix.

“Racing, motorsport is in the DNA of Audi. If you think of Le Mans, and Dakar, we have always been very successful. It’s perfect timing with the rule changes for us to enter F1.”

It is not yet clear if Audi, which has been linked to a set up with Sauber, will run its own team or only supply engines.

Duesmann said entering in 2026 was wiser than starting earlier in F1.

“As we do a complete new power train, the combustion engine and the power side, that is not too long for us,” He said. “In less than four years from now we will be on the grid.”

The project will be based at Audi Sport’s facility in Neuburg, Germany, near Ingolstadt.

Audi is the second-most successful manufacturer in the 24 Hours Le Mans endurance race with 13 wins, and began to work on electrifying the car in that series as early as 2012.

“I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said. “It is also a big recognition that our move to sustainably fueled hybrid engines in 2026 is a future solution for the automotive sector.”

FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulayem expects Audi to make a long-term commitment to F1 when the new cycle begins, which Duesmann agreed with.

“We are here very long term,” Duesmann said. “Within three years we expect to be competitive.”

Audi is widely expected to be joined on the grid in 2026 by Porsche in a partnership with Red Bull.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III