The long-awaited announcement of the partnership between Audi and Sauber finally arrived on Wednesday morning. The deal between the two parties was already known in the Formula 1 world as the only secret kept, but the announcement put a new piece of the puzzle for the 2026 season officially. However, there are still a lot of question marks about the different engine suppliers in Formula 1. F1 max
Take a look at the 2026 season.
Engine suppliers have recently been able to make some adjustments to their power supplies in recent months. The rules around engines are frozen until 2025, which means engine suppliers get one extra chance each year, through a special code, to make changes. New regulations for motorcycles will come into effect in 2026. The electronic systems of the engine will play a more important role, the MGU-H will disappear and there will be a budget limit on power sources. All of these factors played a role in the entry of Audi.
This German automaker doesn’t seem to be the only newcomer in 2026 for some time. Porsche had already signed a deal with Red Bull Racing, but at the last minute the Austrian racing stable pulled the plug from the negotiations. Porsche wanted a lot of control and Red Bull didn’t agree. Now that Audi is the only new supplier of engines, as it will also have its own factory team with Sauber, there will now be five different engines in Formula 1.
When will the Audi name officially appear in Formula 1?
Thus, Audi will officially be one of the suppliers of engines in Formula 1 in 2026. In doing so, the German car manufacturer will take over the responsibilities of Ferrari in relation to the Sauber team. As a result, the Alfa Romeo name will disappear from the premier motorsport class. The Italian brand will withdraw after 2023 and the question is whether Audi will tie its name to Sauber. The German carmaker’s plan is to acquire 25 percent of the shares from next year. The most important thing for Audi at the moment is that the name is finally associated with Formula 1.
Will the successful Mercedes maintain its customer teams?
Since the beginning of the hybrid era, Mercedes has been the most successful supplier of engines. The German stable has won eight constructors’ championships and Mercedes engines have won races with different teams. However, the German automaker’s history in Formula 1 goes much further than that. Mercedes actually began supplying engines to teams in the first motorsport class in 1994. Sauber was the first racing stable to use Mercedes engines. This collaboration didn’t go well, with at least one Sauber driver dropping out in twelve out of sixteen races.
Despite a poor performance in the 1994 season, McLaren decided to start driving at Mercedes power plants a year later. This resulted in a collaboration that lasted until 2014. In that period, McLaren succeeded in becoming a manufacturers’ champion once, namely in 1998, and made the British racing stable a three-time World Drivers’ Champion. In 2009 Brawn GP and Force India (now Aston Martin, editor) joined the German motorcycle manufacturer. In 2009, Brawn GP immediately won the Drivers and Manufacturers titles. A year later, this passed on to the Mercedes staff and the rest, as they often say, is history. Lotus and Manor were also a brief customer of Mercedes, while Williams has been affiliated with the German engine supplier for years now.
Currently, McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams are customer teams at Mercedes, but it remains to be seen if this collaboration will continue beyond 2025. After all, Aston Martin has made no secret that the team wants to take the same path as Red Bull with its own development engines. out. However, it has been quiet on the subject in recent months, so it seems unlikely that the British racing stable will also use its renewed facilities for the engine division, especially now that the registration deadline has already passed. Williams may also have another adventure lurking, but more on that later.
Ferrari still has Haas
Ferrari will lose Sauber as a customer team after 2025. The Swiss racing stable will continue to drive with Italian engines until 2026, despite the fact that Alfa Romeo is dropping out. As a result, Ferrari will of course keep its own factory team and Haas in 2026. The American stable is of course a special customer team for the auto giant, with Haas buying 70 percent of its parts from the Italian team. In the near future, the newest Formula 1 team will also continue to be associated with Ferrari. For now, there are a few voices that Haas will do anything differently in the future.
Red Bull engines with or without Honda?
In 2026, Red Bull will drive its own engines for the first time. The Austrian racing stable has created its own motorcycle division in recent years. In the coming seasons, Red Bull will continue to use Honda engines, despite the Japanese automaker’s official withdrawal from Formula 1. Red Bull is partly responsible for the fact that the rules surrounding the engines are frozen until 2025. In this way, the team wanted to ensure they had more opportunity. Fair enough to enter the sport as a new engine supplier. The AlphaTauri is also likely to be driven by Red Bull Powertrains.
However, it remains to be seen whether the engine division of the Austrian racing stable will be completely alone from 2026. After the successes of Red Bull and Max Verstappen, Honda appears to have some regrets about their decision. So the partnership with the five-time constructors’ champion has been ramped up until 2025. However, there is a chance that Honda will continue to support Red Bull from 2026, especially when it comes to the electrical systems. The Japanese engine supplier shouldn’t just be as hands-on as Porsche. Then Red Bull will not let Honda succeed.
Will Renault continue to supply only its own team?
Renault is a bit of an isolation in Formula 1. The French engine supplier only supplies the Alps, and this season, barring a slew of reliability issues, seems to have succeeded again this season, with Alpine cars going fast on the strait. Renault has also supplied engines to other teams in the sport in the past. The most famous collaboration was with Red Bull. After the thousandth flip engine, the relationship between the two parties soured. Red Bull decided to take the risk by partnering with Honda, while Renault sprinkled some extra salt on the wounds of the Austrian racing stable. The French team took charge of Daniel Ricciardo for the 2019 season.
However, if the FIA and FOM cooperate, Renault could also provide a second power source team. After all, the deal seems to have been closed for a long time. Andretti Autosport has tried with all its might in recent months to be on the Formula 1 grid from 2024. At the moment there are enough parties struggling, but that hasn’t stopped Michael Andretti from actually getting close to an engine supplier. In April, Renault CEO Luca de Meo confirmed that there were official talks with Andretti Autosport. However, the chance of cooperation in the near future is very slim, as the US racing stable is unable to secure its place on the grid. So Alpine remains the only team with a French power source at the moment.
Will we see surprising names in 2027?
Now it’s time to return to the Williams case. The British racing stable will run with Mercedes engines until 2026, but Porsche may be after that. Cars, Sports and Sports It states that the German automaker is still looking for a potential deal with a team in Formula 1. Previous reports have said Porsche has halted its Formula 1 adventures, but nothing is less true. Haas and AlphaTauri are also mentioned in the same list, but the rumors surrounding Williams’ squad are more persistent.
Plus, it looks like there are more pirates on the coast, especially from 2027. Registration for engine suppliers is currently closed, so it doesn’t look like Porsche will enter it in 2026 either. From the second season with the new regulations, it appears that Formula 1 teams are able to choose from more flavours. Hyundai and Ford would also like to capture the success of the sport. according to Cars, Sports and Sports Hyundai has even had talks with Stefano Domenicali. These brands have until June 30, 2023 to choose and register for the 2027 season.
So Audi is putting one last piece of the puzzle right for now, while there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding other F1 engine suppliers. Mercedes may lose customers, Ferrari already knows they are going to lose a customer, Honda may reconsider their decision and Andretti will continue to struggle for a place. in sport. It has become clear that Formula 1 is facing an exciting new period.