It has been reported that Spanish Driver, Carlos Sainz, is Audi’s number one prospect when it comes to a top driver when they enter the prestigious competition.
The German car giant will join F1 in the 2026 season as both a power unit supplier and factory team after securing current F1 team Alfa Romeo as a “strategic partner.” They are planning to enter in 2026 as this is the year that F1 moves on to a new hybrid powertrain. This is no news, however, as there have been no talks of who will be behind the wheel for the team, not until now.
Currently at the highly regarded Ferrari team, Carlos Sainz is at the top of Audi’s list of drivers, reports Blick. Ferrari has a clear number one driver in Charles Leclerc who was their front-runner in the 2022 season; there would be no pain in removing Sainz from the picture as everyone is lining up to drive with the Maranello outfit.
The 28-year-old Sainz is seen as a very good option by Audi because of his many years of experience and speed behind the wheel. He has driven for four teams, Toro Rosso, Ferrari, McLaren, and Renault in his rich nine-year career. It has also been rumoured that a german driver would be selected and favoured in Mick Schumacher to help garner support for the team; much like Michael Schumacher his father kickstarting Mercedes.
Audi’s eventual entry into the sport has been silently taking shape behind the scenes as Oliver Hoffman, Member of the Technical Development board at AUDI said this:
“The Audi Formula 1 project has really taken off in recent months. In the ongoing concept phase of the power unit, the foundation of our drivetrain for 2026 is being laid today.
“We attach great importance to detail work, for example on materials or manufacturing technologies, and we also focus on topics such as the energy management of the hybrid drivetrain.
“After all, efficiency is a key success factor for Formula 1 and the mobility of the future, [and] these approaches will advance both worlds.”
There have been plans set to construct a dynamic development simulator at Audi’s Neuberg factory which is up to scratch with F1’s standards to “further advance the development of the Audi power unit” Alongside this, the new Audi Formula Racing division now has over 200 specialists all boast experienced Audi motorsport employees who hold an impressive amount of experience and expertise in motorsport.
Audi has also confirmed that their first ever hybrid drivetrain with a combustion engine, battery, electric motor, and ECU will be on the test bench before the end of the year. It’s great to see how quickly things are shaping up for a new big hitter in the F1 world. Audi is no stranger to competitive racing as they’ve got a rich history of rallying and endurance racing in Le Mans; their F1 venture will be exciting to watch.