German carmaker Audi will become F1’s first engine supplier for the 2026 season, president Markus Dussmann announced on Friday.

Audi will announce the team it will supply by the end of the year, but it is widely expected to be Sauber, which is currently racing as Alfa Romeo with a Ferrari engine.

Those expectations came close to reality when Alfa Romeo announced in a statement on Friday that it would end its relationship with Sauber “at the end of 2023”.

Audi’s announcement was made at Spa-Francorchamps, venue of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, in the presence of Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“Formula 1 is both a global stage for our brand and a very challenging development laboratory,” Duzman said in a statement.

The engine was developed at Audi Sport’s facilities in Neuburg near Ingolstadt, which the company says is “the first Formula 1 powertrain built in Germany in over ten years”.

Adam Baker, who spent three years at the FIA ​​before joining Audi in 2021, will take over the company’s management and Formula 1 projects as CEO.

In a statement, Audi added that F1’s goal of becoming more sustainable attracted them.

Their decision comes on the heels of an agreement at the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council that Formula 1 would need a new engine, or power unit (PU), by 2026 with the aim of greater sustainability. was broken

The new motor produces up to 50% more power and uses 100% sustainable fuel.

“Globally recognized, highly emotional and technologically advanced – that’s how Formula 1 meets Audi’s exact requirements,” read the statement.

“The key to participating in the world’s most popular racing series is a clear plan to become more sustainable and cost-effective.

“The new technical regulations, which apply from 2026, focus on greater electrification and advanced sustainable fuels.

“In addition to the existing cost cap for teams, a cost cap for power unit manufacturers will be introduced in 2023.

In addition, F1 has set an ambitious goal of becoming a carbon-neutral racing series by 2030.”

F1 president Stefano Domenciari has praised Audi’s decision as an “important event for our sport”.

– “Two separate programs” –

Audi also sees great potential in partnering with Formula 1 to sell more cars worldwide.

“There is tremendous interest in Formula 1 worldwide, and the racing series is one of the highest-reaching sporting events in the world.

“In 2021, over 1.5 billion TV viewers will watch the race.

“Formula 1 is popular in major markets such as China and the United States, and that trend continues to grow, even among younger target groups.”

Audi raced before World War II in the European Championship, the roots of Formula One, which began after the war.

Audi and three other German automakers founded Auto Union.

They enjoyed their most successful campaign in 1936. Bernd his Rosemeyer won 3 of his 4 races and teammate Hans Stuck took the title in his 2nd place.

Porsche is also expected to follow in the footsteps of ‘steady’ Audi, and is believed to be keen to buy up to 50% of Red Bull, the British-based Austrian team driven by world champion Max Verstappen. there is

“They will be two separate programs,” says Duesmann.

“We (Audi) have infrastructure in Germany and if Porsche gets involved they will have infrastructure in the UK.”

Unlike Audi, Porsche has raced in Formula 1.

They had a team from 1957 to 1962, but only raced in two full seasons in 1961/62, Dan Gurney’s only victory at the French Grand Prix in 1962 is.

They returned to the track in 1983, supplying the engine to the McLaren team with great success. McLaren won his two Constructors’ Championships in a row in 1984 and 1985.

McLaren ditched them for Honda in 1988, and Porsche’s final contribution to F1 was a brief return in 1991 that empowered the footwork team.

However, after a disastrous early season, Footwork switched to Ford engines.

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