Audi hopes for ‘a German driver and German GP’ when it joins F1

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In the round-up: Audi’s CEO Markus Duesmann says Formula 1’s newest engine manufacturer hopes to have a German driver and a race in Germany when it joins the grid in 2026

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In brief

Audi hopes for ‘a German driver and German GP’ when it joins F1

Audi’s CEO Markus Duesmann says Formula 1’s newest engine manufacturer hopes to have a German driver and a race in Germany when it joins the grid in 2026.

The famous car brand yesterday officially confirmed plans to join F1 as a power unit manufacturer when the sport’s new engine formula comes into effect in 2026. There is currently no German Grand Prix on the calendar with Sebastian Vettel retiring at the end of the season and Mick Schumacher not confirmed for a drive in 2023 at present.

“Certainly we haven’t decided on a team, so we haven’t decided on drivers,” explained Duesmann. “I hope we will have a German driver and I hope we will have a German race. That’s all I can say.”

McLaren did all it could to improve Ricciardo’s form – Brown

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says he believes McLaren could not have done anything more to try and help make Daniel Ricciardo more competitive in his time with the team.

Ricciardo’s three year contract with McLaren was terminated just two years in due to his consistently underwhelming results relative to team mate Lando Norris. Speaking on the High Performance Podcast, Brown said felt McLaren did all they reasonably could to extract more performance from Ricciardo.

“I don’t think there’s anything we could have done differently for him as a driver,” Brown said. “I’m sitting here right now thinking, I don’t think we could have done something differently to make it more competitive. We tried all that. I think we’ve had to end the relationship early.”

Lawson regrets missing soft tyre run

Liam Lawson says he was frustrated to miss out on a run on the soft tyres at the end of his first practice outing for AlphaTauri in Spa.

The New Zealand F2 driver made his first appearance in an official grand prix session, stepping in for Pierre Gasly. He completed 14 laps and was slowest of all drivers to set a time after the end of the session was interrupted by a red flag for Kevin Magnussen stopping on track, with rain falling as running resumed.

“As a driver it’s my first time, so I was extremely appreciative and I loved every second of it,” Lawson said.

“But, for sure, I was a little bit frustrated not to get back out again on softs. I think I spent the first half of the session getting used to the car and, to be honest, by mid session, I felt quite comfortable. So I was definitely ready to have a good crack on softs.”

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Comment of the day

With Audi announcing it will finally join the Formula 1 grid in 2026 and Alfa Romeo confirming it was cease its F1 partnership with Sauber at the end of 2023, @eurobrun is waiting for the final shoe to drop…

Looking forward to Alonso joining Audi in 2026 with a 5 year plan
Euro Brun

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Vettelfan, Pemsell, Monosodico and Konstantinos!

On this day in motorsport

  • On this day in 1967 Mosport held the Canadian Grand Prix for the first time. Jack Brabham gave Repco engines their last win

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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9 comments on “Audi hopes for ‘a German driver and German GP’ when it joins F1”

  1. “I don’t think there’s anything we could have done differently for him as a driver,”

    Absolute rubbish. As soon as he got to the team he was told he’s the new kid and needed to go back to school and pull his head in. The way they publicly undermined his ability and self-belief is disgraceful.

    There’s so much more McLaren could have done, not the least of which was working with him, rather than expecting him to do as told. Even now with their speak of it being joint expectations not lived up to, they go behind his back and cut the ties.

    They may have a fast car in certain conditions, and lots of sponsors, but they’ve shown there are some clear problems with the team. Where that stems from exactly, who knows.

    1. All this was happening just as Ricciardo was transitioning into life in LA and into business ventures which will no doubt serve him well in his post-driving career, but which inevitably raised the question of how focused he could be on attending to the alarming crisis in his form.

      by Mark Hughes

      Maybe Ricciardo should have focused on driving, rather than amassing wealth? But for these greedy millionaires it’s never enough – they think they’re immortal or can take money to their grave. Money Badger made his move (heh) and now he’s a laughing stock. Money, money, money, more money!

      1. You say that about Ricciardo, @armchairexpert – but how about other drivers? Hamilton, for example?
        He has a much busier life outside of F1, also isn’t winning anything at the moment – but you aren’t commenting on his ‘distractions’ are you?
        Just how much of your day after work do you spend focusing on more work? How much would it help you even if you did?
        Side projects and future investments are quite important for many people, not just for future career/life security (athletes don’t usually still compete when they are 65) but also for mental health and life balance. People need an escape – a hobby.

        And Ricciardo has been paid a large sum of money because his employers thought he was worth it.
        It’s not a motivator for everyone, but it works well enough for some people.

        Actually, the only part of your comment that I think is ‘right’ is that they are all greedy millionaires – but that’s not a surprise at all considering what they do and how much money is made available for them to do it.
        An elite athlete that doesn’t have an extraordinarily high opinion of themselves and their value isn’t an elite athlete. Self-belief is everything.

        1. Reply to me when Mercedes fire Hamilton before his contract expires, then we can have a nice discussion about him too. For now though, Ricciardo got kicked out of his team in almost identical fashion to Raikkonen and Ferrari – absurdly high salary that their abysmal results can’t justify.

          Looking at Ricciardo’s social media, his distractions are Brought To You By 20 million, 30 million, 50 million it’s not enough! Superyachts, private jets and hypercars aren’t cheap! But of course We Race As One for Sustainability (of his personal bank account). Carelessly polluting environment by a millionaire and his extravaganza is truly inspirational! What a hero (borught to you by GoPro – Be A Hero!).

          1. Is your issue with Ricciardo and the money his employers chose to pay him, or the fact that you just don’t like him?
            You’re free to, of course. Nobody really cares who you like or dislike – but you could at least show some maturity and balance, and remember that pretty much every successful F1 driver is paid way too much and lives the high life they choose to live because other people enable them to.
            Again, I recall Hamilton spending loads of money on all those things, but not a peep from you in contempt of that.
            I think we all know that Hamilton won’t get ‘kicked out’ of Mercedes because: A) Toto is his biggest fan, and B) his marketing image and reach makes Mercedes loads of money.
            Brought to you Tommy Hilfiger, Bose and Monster Energy, among others…. Oh, and the LGBT whatever movement, and BLM, and some other social cause that was cool yesterday.

  2. Good luck with those hopes.

    That’s Raidillon actually.

    Good joke by COTD.

    Additionally on this day: the 2017 Belgian GP took place.

  3. Here @armchairexpert goes again. He really doesn’t like Daniel for some reason. There’s a daily withering comment.

  4. Audi wants a German driver, racing in Germany, powered by an engine proudly made in Germany? What year is it, Marty McFly?

    That line of thought is very old. That statement alone tells me someone will have a wake up moment (Abiteboul style) before things get better.

    Those days are long gone, because it just don’t work. It’s called meritocracy, let the best person do the job, no matter where they come from.

    From the history books, Senna won driving a British chassis powered by a Japanese engine. Schumacher, Piquet, Hakkinen, Villeneuve, Prost…

    Verstappen is muiti-national, drives a Thay-backed British Chassis powered by a Japanese engine.

    Give it to the best people! That’s what Toto Wolff learned and look how far the Star brand went. Can one imagine Mercedes sticking with Schumacher Sr., Rosberg, Vettel and now Schumi Jr. just because of nationality?

    1. You forgot about the influence of money…

      Audi can have a German driver, even if they have to financially assist one in getting a super licence – and they can also buy a German GP the same way that every other promoter does. With money.
      Meritocracy was more of a thing in F1 in the past than it is now.

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