After Audi announced its entry into Formula 1 as a power unit supplier in 2026, they immediately took a dig at their old rivals Mercedes.
Today Audi officially announced it will enter Formula 1 in 2026 as an engine supplier, ahead of an expected takeover of the Sauber team (currently Alfa Romeo).
“I want to officially announce that Audi has officially registered as a Formula 1 PU manufacturer,” said the chairman of Audi AG Markus Duesmann.
“So in 2026 we will start racing in F1. Racing and motorsport is in the DNA of Audi.
“Audi has always been active and been successful in motor racing, and if you think about Le Mans or rally Dakar that we do now, DTM and Formula E, we have always been very active and very successful.
“We want to continue this success story now in Formula 1 and I think it’s perfect timing due to the new rules that are established now for us to enter F1,” Duesmann concluded.
As two prominent German car brands, not only are Audi and Mercedes rivals in the road car business, but they were also fierce rivals on the track in the old days of racing.
The two brands even shared the ‘Silver Arrows’ name between 1934 and 1939 (Audi was then known as Auto Union at the time).
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Well, it didn’t take long for Audi to start building a new chapter of the rivalry in Formula 1. When the company announced its entry into F1 on social media, they accompanied it with the words: “Rumor has it: Rings are the new stars”.
Obviously they are referring to Audi’s famous four rings logo, and Mercedes’ iconic three-pointed star.
The manufacturer also took the opportunity to announce that “this is the first time in more than a decade that a Formula 1 power train will be built in Germany”, obviously pointing to the fact that Mercedes’ F1 operation is based out of Brackley and Brixworth in the UK.
It’s also interesting to note that after the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw Lewis Hamilton lose the championship to Max Verstappen, after an obvious disregard for the rules by race director Michael Masi, Audi congratulated the FIA for ensuring ‘a fair conclusion to the 2021 season until the final lap of the championship’.
It remains to be seen how this rivalry will develop when Audi engines make their F1 debut in 2026.