Audi targets win by season three


Adam Baker, the CEO of Audi Formula Racing, reveals that the German team has a three-year plan which includes a race win in that third season.

While Andretti waits in the wings, F1 has been falling over itself in its aim of attracting new manufacturers to the sport, and while Volkswagen and its various brands have long been linked to F1 the speculation always came to nothing.

However, the sport's increasing awareness of sustainability and the clear move towards electrification was enough to convince Volkswagen to finally make the move, and while Porsche is still considering its options, at Spa Francorchamps all F1's top brass were present to announce Audi's entry in 2026.

"There is no single reason," Baker tells Spain's AS of Audi's decision to finally enter F1, "there are several factors that have aligned to make it extremely attractive for manufacturers, in particular for Audi.

"F1 is in a transition period with a sustainable concept for the championship," he adds. "With new rules, which will introduce innovative power units focused on the electrical part, plus sustainable fuels, it is aligned with Audi’s future strategy, directed towards electric mobility.

"Also, F1 has increased in popularity. It is by far the best media and marketing tool in the motorsport world, and one of the best in any industry.

"At the same time, F1 has achieved cost reduction and that makes it even more attractive. The engines of 2026 will have a spending ceiling and that, in addition to limiting costs, provides certainty about long-term budgets.

"If you want a fantastic platform to demonstrate your competence and knowledge twenty-four times a year, this is the best place."

Initially, Audi will only supply its own team, but is open to supplying customer teams if required.

"We may be required by the FIA to supply engines according to the regulations," he admits. "If that happens, we would be prepared, for sure. But right now, we are not looking for a client team, it’s too early for that. We will focus on our programme as a factory.

"We want to be competitive in three years," he says of his own team's ambitions. "It is a realistic goal. We want to compete for wins in the third year.

"We are aware of the challenge that lies ahead," he adds. "It is attractive for Audi to enter 2026 because we decided on it ahead of time. We have 42 months until the first race. In the last 30 years, it must be one of the most advanced decisions of any manufacturer.

"In addition, in 2026 a regulatory cycle begins, when usually others have entered in the middle of a cycle. The power units will change, but also the chassis. In some ways, it can reset the advantage of experienced competitors in the past, and makes it easier for new builders to be competitive.

"Now the long-term work begins, the development of the power unit within the new rules.

"The FIA will continue to work with the teams for the 2026 chassis rules, which may be significantly different, and those I hope will be published in their first version at the end of 2023, perhaps finalised in 2024.

"Then we will start the chassis work, we will align the two things and the tests will begin in 2025 and the competition in 2026."

Baker, who was born in Australia but has been a German citizen since 2018, began his career in road car development for Holden transitioning to motorsport in 2001. As an engine and systems engineer, he supported the Infiniti IndyCar factory and customer teams in the US, before joining Cosworth as a race team engineer with Arrows (2002), Jordan (2003), and later the Jaguar factory team (2004).

At the beginning of 2005, he became the engine team leader for Minardi before transferring mid-season to BMW Motorsport as a race team engineer for the BMW Williams team and then the BMW Sauber F1 team before becoming the head of the race and test team in 2007 for the BMW F1 powertrain.

In 2010, he took over as head of the powertrain department at BMW Motorrad Motorsport for BMW’s program in the Superbike World Championship. He led BMW Motorsport’s powertrain development department in 2011, including its DTM project, and ran the entire DTM racing program and track testing starting mid-2012.

From 2013 to 2018, he was responsible for all race and test programs at BMW Motorsport and customer car build. This included Formula E, WEC, IMSA, DTM, GT3, and GT4 categories. Between 2018 and 2021, he was the Safety Director for the FIA, responsible for developing and implementing technical and operational solutions to prevent fatal and serious injuries in motorsport.

In 2021, he moved to Audi, where he developed the technical, strategic, operational and financial concept for the brand’s first involvement in the Formula 1 World Championship. He is the CEO of Audi Formula Racing GmbH, reporting to Oliver Hoffmann, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi AG.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 29/12/2022
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