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‘So far, we have achieved all the targets’ – Audi provide update on 2026 power unit development

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Audi have shared more details around their 2026 power unit project as the German automotive giants ramp up preparations to take over Kick Sauber’s entry and join the Formula 1 grid.

Back in 2022, Volkswagen Group brand Audi announced plans to enter F1 as a power unit supplier when new regulations featuring increased electrical power and 100% sustainable fuels are introduced.

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Audi then opted to partner with Sauber and recently took a 100% stake in the Swiss operation, meaning a full rebrand is on the way for the start of the 2026 season – and the sport’s new era.

In the background, plenty of work has been going on at Audi’s Neuburg site, which already features 22 state-of-the-art test benches and a host of high-tech development tools, as well as at Kick Sauber’s Hinwil facility – creating a “genuine factory team mode”.

Offering an update on progress, Audi Formula Racing CEO Adam Baker said: “After just two years, our power unit, consisting of a combustion engine, electric motor, battery and control electronics, is running dynamically on the test bench.

SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 26: (L-R) Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, Mohammed ben

Audi announced in 2022 that they would be entering Formula 1

“Successfully marrying the various components into a single unit is the result of hard work and great teamwork.

“The Audi Power Unit has already covered simulated race distances on the test bench. We gained a lot of testing time with the individual components in 2023 and were able to incorporate the experience gained into the next construction stages in parallel.

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“Significant milestones and goals have been achieved, which gives the entire team a good feeling.”

While F1 is new to Audi, Audi Formula Racing CTO Stefan Dreyer pointed out that the manufacturer’s experience in other hybrid and electric motorsport categories “has helped us a lot”.

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Audi will be on the grid as a works team in 2026

He added: “Intensity is a good keyword for our performance development. So far, we have achieved all the targets we set ourselves for performance and efficiency in this phase.

“In addition, our fuel development has been running since 2022 with a strong partner who has many years of experience in Formula 1. This is a really decisive factor for our project, as the new sustainable fuel for 2026 will have even greater competitive relevance.”

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Other advantages for Audi, according to Baker, have been starting “on a blank sheet of paper”, while operating at the limit of the cost cap with power unit development “puts us on a par with our competitors”.

As for Audi’s automotive and F1 divisions being based in the same country, Baker stated: “The local proximity to our parent company Audi in Ingolstadt is a great advantage for us in many ways. There are many technical experts in the region, especially for the development of drivetrain components.

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“The other F1 Power Unit manufacturers are based in the UK, France, Italy and Japan. If you want to bring in employees from competitors, they usually have to move to another country – that’s a challenge, but it’s no greater for us than for anyone else. People not only have to be prepared to change employer, but also the country.

“The fact that we were successful in recruiting experienced engineers and technicians from all other power unit manufacturers shows that our project and the location are attractive – also for international experts and talents. We now have a broad mix in the team with employees from 23 countries.”

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Dreyer added: “Not only do we have a broad international base, but we have also strengthened our existing motorsport expertise at Audi Sport with external F1 expertise. This has helped to accelerate our learning curve considerably.

“Everyone is giving the project maximum speed and is eagerly looking forward to entering Formula 1. Motivation is extremely high, and we sense a strong team spirit.”

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