Audi have rejected circulating rumours that the German manufacturer are considering pulling out of their 2026 Formula 1 entry, despite supposedly being behind with their powertrain development.
It was reported by Radio Le Mans that they’d been informed by sources that Audi could decide to cancel their 2026 F1 entry, following a meeting by Audi’s board.
The Volkswagen-owned manufacturer are set to join the sport in 2026 and merge with Sauber, who they’ll have a 75% stake of by the team the new engine regulations are introduced.
Sauber will effectively become an Audi works team, that is if the rumours are definitely untrue.
Audi have clearly taken notice of the rumours and have since made a statement, with the company insisting that their plans to enter the sport in 2026 “remains unchanged”.
“Audi’s F1 entry in 2026 is based on a decision of the Board of Audi AG in alignment with the Supervisory Board of Audi AG. As well as the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Group,” an Audi spokesperson told Motorsport-Total.com.
Several reports have recently stated that Audi’s development of their 2026 powertrain is behind the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, suggesting that the VW-owned company could enter the sport as backmarkers if rapid progress isn’t made.
Many drivers have also been linked to the outfit, most recently Carlos Sainz.
The Ferrari driver’s rally legend father, Carlos Sainz Snr, even revealed that talks had taken place.
However, Mick Schumacher and four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel have also been linked to the team.
Audi are believed to want a German driver as part of their team, to raise the sport’s popularity in their home nation.
Should they ultimately decide to cancel their entry, then this would likely leave Sauber in a huge mess, as they’ll need to quickly find a powertrain supplier for the new regulations.
This could open the door to Andretti, who recently received permission from the FIA to become an 11th team on the grid.
However, it’s down to F1 to approve the entry of the American team, something which isn’t guaranteed based on how unhappy most of the paddock is by the FIA granting Andretti permission.