It’s no secret that Audi and Porsche been deeply involved with shaping Formula 1's future engine regulations, with eyes toward becoming involved in the sport in one capacity or another. Both brands have pushed hard for the adoption of synthetically-made fuels and increasing electric power within the hybrid mix. Porsche’s name has been bandied about as merely an engine supplier at least, or a full factory-backed effort in the best-case scenario. Meanwhile, their intramural rivals over at Audi seem this close to finally committing already.
On Monday both RaceFans and RacingNews365 each independently reported seeing a letter dated last Tuesday, signed by Audi CEO Markus Duesmann and management board member Oliver Hoffmann and sent to just-departed FIA president Jean Todt. In the letter, Audi reportedly congratulated the FIA on “hosting a fair competition ‘literally until the last lap of the season,’” per RacingNews365.
From there, Duesmann and company seem especially keen on joining the party:
Continuing, the letter, a copy of which was seen by RacingNews365.com, went on to say that Audi are now almost at the point of putting pen to paper and signing up to Formula 1, and that the regulations are a fair compromise that offers a level playing field.
The letter, which was distributed to World Motorsport Council members ahead of the final meeting of the year on 15 December, states that with the “Regulation Framework Issue 6" poised to be passed by the WMSC, Audi are committed to the process of entry and hope to confirm in early 2022.
Audi’s prospective entry is still pending board approval, as RaceFans notes. And in case you have any skepticism over this letter — understandable given how long this saga has been brewing for — RaceFans also highlighted Audi’s satisfaction at the supposed fairness of the conclusion to the title fight. Evidently, they really like to see Mercedes suffer over there. Go figure.
Given that Volkswagen has been such an active participant in negotiating F1's power units to be used in 2026 and onward, it stands to reason that even if Audi announces a bid next year, we won’t see the four rings on track for quite a while.
It’d be a long wait; besides, there’s more than enough time between approval and eventual participation for something to get derailed, as often happens in motorsport. Consider that back in 2019, Porsche was working on an engine derived from its cancelled World Endurance Championship effort for use in F1 by 2021. Back then, the massive rules overhaul that is set to kick in in 2022 was pegged for ’21; remember, this was pre-COVID and all that.
That obviously didn’t happen, but it also didn’t diminish Volkswagen’s premier brands’ interest in F1. With both Porsche and Audi going to Le Mans with separate LMDh contenders in 2023, it’s nice to see the company finally let go of its Dieselgate shame and go racing again. I mean, it should be ashamed of Dieselgate forever, but that shouldn’t get in the way of motorsport.