German publication Auto Motor und Sport (AMuS) reported that Porsche is being linked to the Red Bull F1 team while Audi is being linked to the Alfa Romeo F1 team for a 2026 entry into the sport. Despite McLaren being linked to Audi last month, reports suggest the Woking-based team is speaking to BMW instead.
The Volkswagen Group confirmed Audi and Porsche’s entry into F1 to AMuS and said:
“The board of directors and supervisory board of Volkswagen AG, Porsche AG, and Audi AG have confirmed the plans of the two group brands for a possible entry into Formula 1. The Audi and Porsche brands will provide details at a later date.”
According to the German publication, the two compatriot brands have cleared the final hurdle to enter the sport. The report states that Audi is in talks with Alfa Romeo (Sauber) while Porsche is potentially eyeing a collaboration with Red Bull.
Linking Porsche to Red Bull, the AMuS report said:
“They [Porsche] seek a partnership with a say and the purchase of team shares. The partner is obvious. Contacts with Red Bull have long been established. In 2018, they were close to working together. Red Bull Powertrains would build the combustion engine, and Porsche would support the electric part with its know-how.”
If the Red Bull and Porsche deal were to come through, the German publication predicted an announcement to be made by the Austrian GP. As far as Audi is concerned, AMuS reports that their talks with McLaren have reached a stale-mate and Alfa Romeo Sauber might be the obvious option.
Explaining the logic behind Alfa Romeo (Sauber) partnering with Audi, AmuS said:
“Sauber is now in pole position among the takeover candidates. The Swiss racing team makes the most sense for a variety of reasons. Audi knows Sauber because the Le Mans car was developed in the Hinwil wind tunnel. The then Head of Technology at Audi, Jan Monchaux, now works at Sauber on the same mission.”
Audi and Alfa Romeo (Sauber) have worked closely on the Le Mans car project, and therefore the German publication believes there is potential for a partnership with the Swiss team. According to AMuS, there is also paddock speculation of Lawrence Stroll wooing Audi for a partnership with the Aston Martin F1 team.
What has happened to the talks between McLaren F1 team and Audi?
German publication Automobilwoche had earlier reported that Audi had made an offer to McLaren to buy the racing team for €650 million. According to Auto Motor und Sport (AMuS), however, the Woking-based team is not eager to sell and the Audi-McLaren talks might have reached a stalemate. The report revealed that the Papaya Orange squad is in talks with BMW instead for a partnership.
Shedding light on the Audi McLaren talks, the AMuS report said:
“McLaren showed little interest in selling its racing team. With the boom in the premier class, shares in Formula 1 teams are worth more every day. Even an improved offer did not bring the two companies together, although McLaren Automotive urgently needs a strong partner to meet the challenges of the hybrid age. As can be heard, talks are now being held with BMW at this level. The McLaren issue is practically off the table for Audi.”
It is understood that both Audi and Porsche will officially announce their entries once they have signed their deals with the respective teams. The rumored time for such an announcement is anticipated to be in June. Meanwhile, French car manufacturer Peugeot is also reported to be considering an entry into the sport.
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