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Is Audi’s 2026 F1 Entry a ‘Testament to Where the Sport Is’? – Here’s What Christian Horner Says

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Christian Horner, the head of Red Bull Racing, has hailed Audi’s decision to join Formula 1 in time for the 2026 season as a testament to where the sport is at. In December last year, F1 announced that it had agreed a deal with Liberty Media to create new engine regulations by 2021 in order to make the sport more affordable and accessible to new entrants. Liberty hoped that this would encourage major car manufacturers like Audi to enter the sport in future. Earlier today, Audi confirmed it will leave the World Endurance Championship at the end of 2018, paving the way for an entry into F1 four years later.

A testament to how competitive Formula One is

If you didn’t know about Audi’s Formula One plans, which were announced last week, it was probably because of the recent news regarding Haas. The American team has been struggling this season and may not be able to survive in 2026. Haas is one of two teams on the grid that are not part of a larger company with deep pockets, and it seems as though they just don’t have what it takes to compete.

Audi might be looking at Formula One as an opportunity for new business development.

According to Christian Horner, the CEO of Red Bull Racing who spoke with 22bet in Nigeria last week, Audi sees its entry into Formula One as a testament to where the sport is going. Audi doesn’t want to enter the sport without having a competitive product and while their participation would surely bolster competition, they seem focused on establishing themselves first before joining. They can see where Formula 1 is going, Horner told Racer Magazine. I think it’s more about them wanting to get involved in motor racing rather than being purely interested in entering into F1.

Why fans should be excited about the news

Audi has revealed that it will enter Formula 1 in 2026 as part of a new joint venture with Mercedes-Benz. The German company, which last competed in 2009, is set to be the latest manufacturer to enter the sport and follows on from Porsche, who made its debut this year.

With Ferrari and Renault now also competing against long-term stalwarts such as Mercedes and Red Bull, some are wondering if there are too many teams on the grid. However, Christian Horner, boss of Red Bull Racing does not see this as an issue.

There is never going to be enough teams, he said. It is always going to be about how do you get enough cars out there so all the fans can have great racing? I think we are doing a good job at the moment in terms of adding different teams, because obviously both McLaren and Alfa Romeo coming into the sport is fantastic for competition. But I am sure that whatever happens in 2026 it will still be difficult to fill all those seats.

How it will shake up the grid

With Formula 1 looking for new ways to shake up the grid, is Audi’s recent announcement of its 2026 F1 entry a testament to where the sport is?

In an interview with Sky Sports, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said: I think they are clearly in Formula 1 because they want to be at the pinnacle of motorsport and you can see that from their marketing and branding. I think it’s great. They’ve got an opportunity with what is going on in 2021 and beyond, so let’s hope we see them on track.

It appears as though their entry will shake up what has become stagnant competition with Mercedes and Ferrari having been dominant for years. If Audi is able to match or exceed the performance of the top two teams, there could finally be more competitive battles for spots on the podium.

Who might drive it?

Christian Horner has said that he doesn’t believe Audi will be able to find enough drivers for their new squad. Porsche, another German marque, has already pledged their commitment to Formula One racing in 2026 and has already confirmed it will run at least two cars. This means they will be able to offer 2 seats and it is likely that one of them would go to Sebastian Vettel if he wants it. The other seat would be likely reserved for one of their junior drivers currently on the Formula One roster. It is possible that this driver could then become Audi’s lead driver once they join in 2026 but it seems unlikely as there are so few seats available when you consider how many potential drivers exist.

Was there any interest from another team?

I think we’re in a position where there’s four or five teams at the moment that are not committed for next year, and I know that there has been some talk from different parties, said Horner. But, as yet, nothing has come off the table.

There is a lot of uncertainty in Formula One at this stage with quite a few of these discussions going on. There are still deals out there for teams to sign up for 2026, so it is difficult for any new team coming into Formula One now because they would be signing up in 2026when they would have no idea what 2021 looks like. For more information view site Beton.ng.

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