“Last chance to enter F1 with Audi/Porsche in 2026”

The German auto giant, which has been pushing to enter F1 for a while, confirmed in a statement it made recently that it gave the green light to enter F1 after the engine rules in 2026 became clear.

VW CEO Herbert Diess answered a question asked in a video posted on Youtube on Monday, revealing what level the company is at in terms of F1 preparations.

Speaking openly about F1 preparations, Diess said that F1 has recently had a significant share in markets such as America and that the new rules in 2026 will be an opportunity for them.

Diess said: “Formula 1 is developing in a very positive way all over the world. Marketing is there. And Netflix has helped Formula 1 grow tremendously in the Americas. It’s also growing significantly among young consumer groups in Asia. It’s big sporting events or events around the world,” Diess said. If you look at the sport that really stands out when you say motorsport, the difference is getting bigger and bigger with Formula 1 and others.”

“If you’re in motorsport, you have to be in Formula 1 because the biggest impact is there. Moreover, you can’t get into Formula 1 if there isn’t a gap in technology. There has to be a rule change so everyone can start at the same level.”

“As Markus Duesman always says, you usually gain a second during the year by optimizing the details on a medium-sized track.”

“But if you’re joining as a new team, then you can’t catch it. You need 5-10 years to fight ahead. In other words, you can only be in the fight if there is a big rule change.”

“Now that’s it. There will be a change in that direction in 2026. The engines will be more electric and contain synthetic fuels. That means you need a new engine development. You need 3-4 years to develop a new engine.”

“It means you can make the decision to enter Formula 1 right now. Otherwise you probably won’t be able to make that decision for another 10 years. And it’s the right thing to do with our two premium brands. We’re keeping that a priority.” said.

Porsche is currently preparing a LMDh assault at Le Mans alongside Penske, while Audi has focused its recent factory efforts on the Dakar Rally

Photo by: Porsche Motorsport

Diess confirmed that the VW name will not be included in the F1 plans, instead that Porsche and Audi are planning to enter F1 separately.

Porsche’s name is very strongly associated with Red Bull. Diess said Porsche’s plans are more concrete, but Audi doesn’t have a clear plan for partnership yet.

“VW won’t be in this plan. It doesn’t fit in and that brand won’t participate,” Diess said.

“Porsche has to be the sportiest car brand in the world. That’s why Porsche has to be in motorsport. You conclude that if Porsche is going to do motorsport, Formula 1 is the most efficient place. You have to tick it off.”

“Audi is a weaker brand than Porsche. It doesn’t charge very high premiums. But Audi may actually be better for Formula 1 as it has a lot more potential as a brand.”

“They’re moving to a higher level. They’re fighting Daimler. In that respect Audi will have a case where it says it makes sense. Audi also sends 4-5 billion to Wolfsburg every year. It will send more with Formula 1.”

“Then your arguments are over. You might say, ‘But I don’t believe in Formula 1,’ but there are good arguments that say Formula 1 will grow even in the future. If so, if they’re going to make more money this way, why restrict them?” said.

While Diess says it makes sense to enter F1 with Porsche and Audi, he has revealed that not everyone on the VW Board supports entry into F1, especially at a time when the industry is moving more towards electric vehicles.

Diess said, “The decision on the Board was not shared. We have other priorities strategically. We don’t just look at motorsports. Our cars must be at the cutting edge of technology. We must have autonomous driving, we must develop our software capabilities, we must have batteries in our cars. There is enough work to be done.” And we don’t really need Formula 1.”

“But our premium brands say that’s the most important leverage to increase brand value and get a little more price-wise for cars. We also have to fight to show that we have cutting-edge technology on the Audi side.”

“So the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board all voted in the affirmative. Audi needs to decide which team it wants to work with on this issue. But both have started developing their engines.” said.