Volkswagen’s brands Audi and Porsche will join Formula 1 according to VW’s chief executive Herbert Diess.
The news comes after the German auto-making group was reportedly convinced enough that the move will earn them huge money in the long run.
Some of the board were against the move into the high-speed sport in recent months as discussions kicked off but Diess confirmed on Monday that an agreement had been made, at an event in Wolfsburg.
He explained that they eventually came to the conclusion that they would bring in more money with this Formula 1 commitment as opposed to without it.
There have been reports circulating for several months that the two brands were finalising partnerships to enter the sport in the coming years.
Now it is understood that Porsche’s plans of entering Formula 1 are more set in stone than Audi’s, and Diess also said that the timing of the decision has been majorly impacted by the sport’s new engine regulations that will come in for the 2026 season.
“You just run out of arguments,” he said.
“As Markus Duesman (Audi chairman) always tells me, you usually make up one second per season on a medium-sized race track simply by optimising details.
“But you can’t catch up on that when you join a new team: you need five or 10 years to be among the front runners. In other words, you can only get on board if you have a major rule change.
“That’s coming now, and it will also come in the direction of 2026, when the engines will be electrified to a much greater extent, including with synthetic fuels. That means you need a new engine development and you need three or four years to develop a new engine.
“That means you can decide now to do Formula 1 – or then probably not again for 10 years. And our two premium brands think that’s the right thing to do, and are prioritising it.”