Audi began work on the Formula 1 engine in March


Audi has been working on the 2026 engine since last March, once the starting bases of the new regulation were clear.

The German brand used its Neuburg an der Donau facilities for this operation, where the entire power unit will be designed and manufactured. It is a fully equipped facility, with test benches and other elements sufficient to develop a Formula 1 engine.

A modern center dating from 2014 that is the sports headquarters of Audi. Despite this, a ‘rearming operation’ is already underway. The brand commissioned the latest generation AVL test benches for some time, which are capable of testing not only the engine or transmission but the entire car.

At the moment there are 120 people who work there, as confirmed by the German publication Auto Motor und Sport, and before the end of the year there will be 200 to reach 300 in the future. It’s a figure that ‘pales’ compared to the nearly 1,000 who worked to develop Mercedes’ first power unit for the current hybrid era.

But at Audi they do not underestimate the challenge. On the contrary, they know perfectly well the difficulties they will have to deal with.

“We know that other teams have been at this for a long time and have a head start. But the new rules give us a chance,” said Audi CEO Markus Duesmann.

Oliver Hoffmann, member of the Development Board, is of the same opinion but understands that “the new rules will allow newcomers to compete on equal terms”. It refers, without a doubt, to the fact that new motorists have a ‘supplement’ to the budget ceiling, 25 million euros over three years, to recover part of the delay, in addition, the new rule makes motors simpler and current motorists will have to give up some of the most advanced technologies.

Andreas Baker will be in charge of the Audi F1 project, after passing through Cosworth, BMW and the FIA. He has been working on it for two years now. The technical development of the engine will be the responsibility of Stefan Dreyer, who in his day worked at Porsche and has been responsible for Audi’s ‘Dakar Project’.

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