There might still be a long way to go in the 2023 Formula One season – but many fans of the sport are already looking well beyond this year to 2026. That’s because Audi formally announced its entrance into F1 in three years’ time last summer, making the sport’s worst-kept secret a matter of official acknowledgement.
So why, exactly, is the German automotive company’s sally into F1 such a big deal? We run through the major reasons why Audi will make a fine addition to the competition – and why you should start getting excited about the prospect already.
Testing its mettle
Everyone loves fair competition. From the users of online casinos who prioritize provably fair games to the followers of sport the world over, there’s nothing more satisfying than watching heavyweights of their proven discipline duke it out to see who is truly best. Of course, much of the acclaim must go to the drivers, but the tools they use to do their job are also deserving of recognition. That’s why Audi’s foray into F1 is so intriguing, since it will be possible to assess how their engines hold up against the other titans of the industry.
Speaking of which, Audi has not been slow off the mark into kindling rivalries with its fellow automotive companies – especially Mercedes. Shortly after the announcement that they would be joining the roster from 2026 onwards, the Audi PR team took aim at their compatriots with a sly dig about Mercedes habit of manufacturing their power trains in Britain rather than Germany, as well as a boastful claim that the rings of Audi would supplant the star of Mercedes in the near future. Watch this space for a spicy battle.
Of course, it’s not just Mercedes who Audi will be locking horns with, either. Indeed, their parent owner the VW Group is also overseeing the entrance of another of their manufacturers, Porsche, into F1 from the same date. While most car companies shy away from such internecine competition, the VW Group have whole-heartedly embraced it. Since their brands compete on the open market anyway, it makes sense to them for Audi and Porsche to battle it out on the racetrack, too.
A greener sport?
The Dieselgate scandal of 2015 put a huge dent in VW’s environmental reputation, which is why it has invested significant amounts of money (more than any other carmaker in the world) into electric vehicle and battery technology since. Indeed, VW even stipulated that F1 would have to commit to using more sustainable fuel as a precursor to the German company continuing talks. As such, that could signal that F1, which has traditionally been criticized for its outsized environmental footprint, could benefit from greener practices and processes in the near future.
Although it’s still the best part of three years away, there are plenty of reasons for fans of F1 to begin rubbing their hands together and licking their lips in anticipation of A