Audi warn they’re likely to miss key F1 deadline

Audi and Porsche are both trying to enter Formula 1 in 2026 when the new technical regulations come into play.

Audi have indicated that they are not going to have a detailed proposal ready for the end of August as they prepare a bid to enter Formula 1 in 2026.

The German car company has been linked with a move into the pinnacle of motorsport for over a year now, and they were initially rumoured to be buying McLaren.

Those links were confirmed late on in 2021, but they were later found to be false, with the Woking-based side expressing that they had no intention to sell.

Since then, the Volkswagen subsidiary has been floating around the rest of the grid looking for another team to purchase, and the list has been whittled down to two – Aston Martin and Sauber.

READ: Alfa Romeo boss responds to rumoured Audi takeover

There have been reports that billionaire Lawrence Stroll will be willing to sell the British team if his five-year championship plan does not pan out as hoped, while it is common knowledge that the Sauber group has been chasing cash flow for years.

The signature of Alfa Romeo as a name partner certainly helped the Swiss side but, after Michael Andretti knocked on the door last season, it might not be long until Peter Sauber’s creation is forced to open it to someone else.

Whichever team Audi are going for, there is suspicion that they need to get on with it, as the deadline for any new teams intending to enter the pinnacle of motorsport in 2026 is said to be the 31 August.

However, an Audi spokesperson, quoted by Sky Germany, suggested that this deadline will not be met when they affirmed that the company will “now examine in detail” the technical regulations set to be introduced in four years. 

Article continues below

Therefore, a “prompt decision” is “not to be expected” from the German group.

Further, the board has not been available to discuss their F1 plans recently, and there has allegedly been no indication from the FIA that they have opened power unit applications for 2026.

READ: Red Bull to imminently announce Porsche partnership as Audi continue Aston Martin talks

“The regulations were passed during the summer break when Audi AG was not in session and some of the relevant decision-makers, including the board of directors, are on holiday,” added the spokesperson.

“As far as we understand it, the process for the registration of power-unit manufacturers for the 2026 season has not yet been initiated by the FIA.”

Volkswagen’s other subsidiary, Porsche, has applied to trademark “F1nally,” so it is now looking ever more certain that they will be supplying Red Bull and AlphaTauri with engines from 2026.

They are also understood to have filed the paperwork to buy shares in Red Bull technologies, earning them a seat at the table in Milton Keynes.