It appears that Audi is making a return to the world of motor racing in grand fashion. According to reports, top level Audi executives are satisfied with the FIA’s new technical regulations for the 2026 power units, and believe they offer a fair compromise for newcomers and existing competitors.
The new power units will be dropping the costly MGU-H system (one of the most complex technical components in an F1 car) in favour of a simpler and cost-effective energy recovery system. The MGU-K unit, which recovers energy from the brakes (like a normal hybrid car), will remain and provide more power.
Power unit costs will also be capped for the first time, which should help smaller teams be more competitive. It’s been said that new suppliers may receive concessions on budget caps for their first few seasons, and that FIA will also introduce 100% sustainable fuels moving forward. These changes appear to be the concessions the VW Group had been lobbying for.
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A detailed document on the 2026 power units will be submitted by the FIA early next year. So far, the 1.6 litre V6 engine will be retained, and the current turbocharger architecture will remain largely unchanged. Electrical power is also expected to be raised to 350 kilowatts.
Besides power units, the new rules will also see the cars get dramatically reshaped. There will be simpler wings and greater use of ground effect aerodynamics (to reduce turbulence coming off the back), as well as the switch to 18-inch wheels (currently 13-inch) with aero covers and lower-profile tyres.
Meanwhile, it was understood that Porsche, another prominent VW Group brand, is also heavily invested in an F1 engine. In 2017, it built the engine to the required specification, but plans were immediately shelved amid the Dieselgate scandal. Only a matter of time now.
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