George Russell, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2022

Audi’s jibes at Mercedes whet appetites for their rivalry resuming in F1

2022 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Audi and Mercedes won’t face each other on the Formula 1 grid until 2026 at the earliest. But the Ingolstadt manufacturer is already shaping up to renew hostilities with its domestic rival.

“Rings are the new stars” Audi declared on social media as the long-rumoured news of its impending arrival in the premier category of motorsport was confirmed. But we will have to wait four years to see the four rings of Audi sharing a track with the three-pointed star of Mercedes.

Audi also made a point of reminding everyone that Mercedes’ dominant F1 operation is not based in Germany, the home of both brands. Mercedes’ chassis are constructed in Brackley – at the site previously used by Brawn GP, Honda and British American Racing – and its engines are built in Brixworth.

Now Audi is preparing to produce its F1 engines near its Ingolstadt headquarters, at its Competence Center Motorsport in Neuburg an der Donau. “This is the first time in more than a decade that a Formula 1 power train will be built in Germany,” it proclaimed at the top of its press release announcing its arrival in F1, referring to BMW’s engine operation which ceased in 2009.

Indeed, Audi’s digs at Mercedes began well before their F1 entry became public knowledge today. Back in December, when Audi wrote to the FIA indicating it intended to enter F1, Audi made a point of congratulating the sport’s governing body for ensuring a fair conclusion to the 2021 season until the final lap of the championship.

The significance of that could not be missed, for at the time Mercedes was still deliberating whether to submit a formal appeal over the controversial final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, during which the championship slipped from the grasp of its driver Lewis Hamilton. The row which cast a shadow over the conclusion of the season eventually led the FIA to dispense with the services of the person who took the call.

The rivalry between Audi and Mercedes kept the DTM well-supplied with action throughout the noughties. At times this spilled over into some spectacular controversies.

At the Circuit de Catalunya 15 years ago Audi team principal Wolfgang Ullrich took the astonishing step of ordering its seven remaining cars to withdraw mid-race after several clashes with their Mercedes rivals. “The Mercedes drivers used every opportunity to eliminate our cars,” the manufacturer alleged in a post-race statement.

Eight years later the boot was on the other foot. Ullrich was banned from the pit lane for the remainder of the 2015 season after ordering driver Timo Scheider to ‘push out’ two of the Mercedes cars at the Red Bull Ring, which he did. Audi were also stripped of the 62 points they scored in the race and fined €200,000.

In the bigger pond of Formula E, the rivalry between Mercedes and Audi never flared up in quite the same way during the brief period both were active in the series. But Audi’s non-too-subtle digs at their domestic market rival will be red meat to the producers of Drive to Survive as they make plans for season 10.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2022 F1 season articles, F1 newsTags , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 16 comments on “Audi’s jibes at Mercedes whet appetites for their rivalry resuming in F1”

    1. Shut up and enter a team, not just an engine.

      1. @bullfrog Everything seems to point to them taking over Sauber.

      2. Why so we can lose a team when the inevitability pull out in the future.

        Engine manufacturers buying or entering as teams never works out well for F1 in the long run.

        1. Even Mercedes’ doesn’t own a team anymore and are merely a minority shareholder now.

          1. ^—- This.

      3. Shut up and educate yourself.

    2. MB also didn’t enter a new team so situation is not that different.
      But while MB took over the championship winning team Audi’s candidate is currently only leading the bottom half of the standings so a looong way to go until their marketing bla is turned into wins.

    3. Mercedes will have left Formula 1 as a works team by 2026.

      1. 12 years too late.

    4. If they keep Ullrich’s shenanigans, as well as his particular take on sportsmanship, away from the F1 project this could be a pretty fun rivalry. That is assuming Audi manages to actually be competitive, of course. It’s all well and good to poke fun at Mercedes, but as it stands Audi isn’t even in the same league as Mercedes.

      1. They had a pretty good run against Mercedes last time they were Grand Prix racing…

    5. Pride before a fall

    6. Horner will need to step up his game or he will be left behind in the ****-talk department

    7. Unfortunate.
      To prove their point, they should just set up a brand new team.

    8. Well, Audi has another few years to build up this rivaly. And hopefully also build an engine and car to actually deliver on it.

    Comments are closed.