Audi vs Porsche: the household feud behind F1 dream – MPH

With Audi confirming its partnership with Sauber for its F1 entry in 2026, it nonetheless leaves hanging within the air the query of what’s going to turn into of the initially deliberate parallel entry of Audi’s sister model Porsche.

It’s a a lot much less innocuous query than it may appear, one that’s loaded with company intrigue, jealousies and competitors.

It’s vital that Audi will purchase a majority shareholding in Sauber; this might be a real works workforce, very a lot a part of the principle firm, not merely a technical partnership. There’s an engine manufacturing plant in Neuburg an der Donau, with a few hundred staff already, headed up by Adam Baker, an Australian engineer who was final in F1 with the BMW F1 mission (which was additionally, in fact, Sauber-based). It is a full-on manufacturing unit effort, extra so even than Mercedes (which owns solely one-third of the workforce which represents it in F1).

Porsche too needs to be a full-blown works workforce – and that was a key a part of why its deliberate 50/50 partnership with Crimson Bull fell via a number of months in the past, with the Milton Keynes-based workforce uncomfortable with the extent of management the German producer sought.

Audi F1 car prototype livery

Audi is already pushing forward with its F1 mission – Porsche might must endure ignominy of rebadging

Audi

“The premise was all the time {that a} partnership can be primarily based on an equal footing, which would come with not solely an engine partnership but additionally the workforce,” the Porsche assertion in September stated. “This might not be achieved. With the finalised rule modifications, the racing sequence however stays a pretty setting for Porsche and can proceed to be monitored.”

The thorny questions of possession and management was additionally why Audi’s early talks with McLaren went nowhere and doubtless why Porsche’s will too. Which would seem to go away two attainable choices for Porsche: Williams or AlphaTauri.

However Porsche has a further drawback. In contrast to Audi, it doesn’t have an influence unit underneath improvement, nor does it presently have the amenities to create one. Both the dad or mum VW Group insists that Audi share its energy unit with Porsche (attainable, provided that the brand new VW boss is the previous Porsche boss, however horribly conflicted for causes of status) or Porsche begins investing in an enormous hurry and acquires not simply the amenities and employees but additionally the costly dynos vital. It might appear to be a close-to-impossible timeline. Nevertheless it’s an distinctive firm and likely a highly-motivated one too… don’t rule it out fully.

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