Wolff: Audi and Porsche entries will make F1 ‘tougher’
Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff believes Audi and Porsche’s entry into F1 will only make the sport more difficult for all competitors.
Audi confirmed its entry into Formula One from 2026 on Friday in Spa, however it has yet to finalise a deal with a partner team, with negotiations allegedly progressing with Sauber over a takeover of the Hinwil outfit that competes under the Alfa Romeo banner.
Porsche has not yet formally revealed its commitment to F1, but Audi’s fellow Volkswagen subsidiary is anticipated to formalise its partnership with Red Bull in the near future.
Wolff believes that the advent of such prominent brands among motorsport’s elite is “excellent” news for Grand Prix racing but will undoubtedly increase the bar for rivals in the future.
“It’s fantastic,” Wolff added. “I believe that seeing who has joined F1 in terms of automotive firms and the very best brands in their industry outside of automotive demonstrates the sport’s strength.
“And it’s wonderful for the sport, and it’s terrific for us to have some of the world’s top automakers as rivals.
“F1 is the most difficult sporting challenge for any vehicle manufacturer in the world. It has been, and it will only grow more difficult when these men arrive.”
Williams Racing CEO Jost Capito, who formerly led Volkswagen’s motorsport programme in the WRC, also emphasised the significance of Audi’s presence in Formula 1.
“I think it’s incredibly significant for F1 if an automaker like VW Group confirms their participation,” he told Motorsport.com.
“It’s a sign for all other manufacturers, and it demonstrates the importance and progress F1 has made in recent years.”
“It was out of the question a couple of years ago, and now it’s even two manufacturers, two brands from the VW Group, with Audi confirmed and Porsche most likely to confirm.” So I believe it’s fantastic for F1.
“I believe Audi has been successful wherever they have gone.