The scale of the challenge facing Audi’s F1 assault
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Formula 1 Opinion

The scale of the challenge facing Audi’s F1 assault

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OPINION: Audi's arrival in Formula 1 for 2026 was confirmed on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix. It marks the series' first new manufacturer of the hybrid era since Honda's difficult return with McLaren in 2015. The might of Audi will surely make it a force in F1 in time, but the scale of the task ahead of it is massive

Audi has been unexpectedly pointed in its reasoning for entering Formula 1, acting in a way most unlike the massive, grey-suited corporation that it is. In the very first paragraph of the official announcement of its new engine programme was this line: “This is the first time in more than a decade that a Formula 1 powertrain will be built in Germany.” The social media posts ran the message that the four rings will be “the new stars”. This comes as the Ingolstadt boardroom believes Mercedes can be beaten both on track and at the forecourt via the medium of grand prix racing.

Whether you consider those lines to be entertaining needle or simply needless, there’s no escaping the enormity of the task at hand for Audi. Press conference at Spa over and done, it now needs to go on a hiring spree and redevelop its motorsport facility at Neuburg to top-flight standard before fully embarking on designing its hybrid power unit.

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