Wolff and Binotto put the ball at Audi and Porsche: “We have made many concessions to them”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto think and believe that Formula 1 and current engine manufacturers have opened the door wide enough for Audi and Porsche. It is now up to the German automakers to commit and actually enter Formula 1, they say.

The hope and expectation was that this week there would be definitive clarity about the engine rules for 2026 – the moment that Audi and Porsche want to step in – and afterwards. It was even rumored that Porsche might announce its partnership with the energy drink maker’s team this weekend at Red Bull’s own Ring, but nothing of the sort.

Also read: Volkswagen top agrees with Formula 1 plans Audi and Porsche

During a meeting of the F1 commission earlier this week, no blow was given to the new engine formula. Although according to the same F1 commission it won’t be long before that, as good progress is being made.

In the press conference for team bosses, Wolff and Binotto are asked how they see the situation. And whether the paddock rumors are true that Mercedes and Ferrari may be training things, to put Audi and Porsche a heel. They both strongly deny the latter.

“Firstly, we are very positive about the entry of more manufacturers into Formula 1,” said Binotto. “That’s great for the sport, the championship and Formula 1 as a business. We have also done everything possible to align ourselves accordingly,” emphasizes Binotto, “such as by agreeing to scrap the MGU-H.”

MGU-H

The MGU-H plays an important role in the hybrid powertrain of current Formula 1 engines, but is very complex. Audi and Porsche have therefore pushed for it to disappear. This is because their developmental delay in that area would be considerable. Current manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault have invested enormously in this, both technically and financially.

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“The fact that we have agreed to the disappearance of the MGU-H is only to make it possible for them to enter Formula 1″, Binotto refers to Audi and Porsche. “This was not the best choice for us. After all, we are very familiar with the MGU-H, even though it is not ideal in terms of budget,” he refers to how current manufacturers now have to adapt more to their engines.

Why it takes so long for Audi and Porsche to officially announce their entrance, also seems a mystery to Binotto. “There are still some things to discuss, but that is up to the FIA.” Wolff in turn has ‘not much to add’. “We also do not want to delay the engine rules for 2026,” emphasizes Wolff. “We want clarity quickly, because there will be a lot of work ahead of us.”

‘Much promised’

“Deleting the MGU-H has really been a huge compromise,” Wolff also quotes. According to Wolff, the current manufacturers have also shown their willingness by making all kinds of concessions ‘despite the lack of official confirmation’ from Audi and Porsche.

“I don’t know why it’s taking so long,” he says. That the rules are not yet one hundred percent set in stone, “is normal in this sport,” Wolff continues. “We have taken a big step in their direction,” he points to Audi and Porsche, “now it’s about details.”

It is not publicly known what exactly needs to be tapped. What is known is that there has been a lot of haggling behind the scenes about further concessions for new manufacturers, who are bound by less technical and financial restrictions in terms of engine development before 2026. This has proven to be a hot topic for current manufacturers.

Also read: F1 forum: ‘Porsche deal would be perfect for Red Bull and Verstappen’