Audi just announced it’s officially entering Formula 1 for the first time, which is a huge deal for Audi, the Volkswagen Group, and the sport as a whole. As an F1 fan, it’s incredibly exciting to see Audi join the sport. As a car enthusiast, I think it’s great for more brands to compete in motorsport, as it improves the brand’s technologies, making the industry better. But what about BMW fans, are they frustrated that a rival brand is entering the sport that many of them wished BMW would re-enter? And should BMW re-enter now that both of its main rivals are in it?
Mercedes is BMW’s biggest rival and it’s not only been in F1 for many years now, it’s been hugely successful. It’s won world championships, which gives Mercedes a bit more motorsport fame and credibility than BMW has, which has to stick in the M Division’s craw. Now, BMW’s other main German rival, Audi, is joining F1 and will compete for a championship itself. Even Porsche is joining the sport in 2026. So does BMW continue to be the lame German duck out of the race or does it decide to make a comeback? It’s also worth mentioning that Audi’s current CEO, Markus Duesmann, came from BMW.
Audi is joining Sauber, BMW’s old F1 partner, in F1 and will supply the engines for the car, starting 2026. To be anywhere near as successful, Audi is going to have to do some heavy lifting because the current Alfa Romeo Sauber team (Alfa will leave in 2026) is barely competitive. Current drivers Zhou Guanyu and Valterri Bottas are both good drivers (Guanyu is an extremely promising young driver), but their cars just can’t compete with those from Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes. Maybe Audi engines, and engineers, can change that. Though, in 2026, there’s likely to be new drivers, too.
When Audi announced it was joining, it wanted a partner. It didn’t want to start an all-new team but instead partner with an existing team. BMW would almost certainly do the same if it eyed another F1 entry. There are a few teams it could attempt to court, such as Williams, Haas F1, or even bigger fish, such as McLaren.
It would be very cool, if highly unlikely, to see BMW enter F1 yet again. BMW is still heavily involved with motorsport but in nothing nearly as famous or as widely renowned as Formula 1. Entering F1 was a good idea for Audi, as it transitions to electric vehicles, as it will add real motorsport credentials to its cars. BMW could do the same and fans would love it. Will that happen? We haven’t heard anything that suggests BMW is even thinking about it. But it’s fun to imagine.