The Competence Center Motorsport at the Audi Neuburg facility is being expanded for the Formula 1 project. In a new building measuring around 3,000 square meters, new test benches for the development of the power unit will be installed in particular. The construction work on the extension began this week. Audi will compete in the top class of motorsport from 2026 with the power unit manufactured in Neuburg.
The Competence Center Motorsport, which opened in the summer of 2014, is considered as one of the most modern of its kind. All of the factory racing operations, as well as customer racing, are coordinated from here. The futuristic Audi RS Q e-tron, with its innovative drivetrain for the Dakar Rally, was built in Neuburg an der Donau, as was also the case for versions of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid racing car, the Audi RS 5 DTM and the all-electric Formula E racing car.
The entire power unit for the new Formula 1 project, which consists of an energy recovery system, electric motor, battery, highly efficient combustion engine and transmission, is being developed and built in Neuburg. Around 50% of the drivetrain’s power will be electric. Audi will compete in Formula 1 as a factory team in 2026 together with its strategic partner Sauber.
“With the Competence Center Motorsport, we have an ideal base for our Formula 1 project,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Board Member for Technical Development. “Audi Neuburg was designed from the outset to be able to tackle the most demanding motorsport projects. This foresight is paying off. With the existing facilities, we were able to immediately begin with the Formula 1 project. The expansion will create the necessary infrastructure for the development of our F1 power unit for the long term. With the building extension and the installation of state-of-the-art test benches, we are giving our development team the best possible conditions to be successful in the top class of motorsport.”
The new building, called F7.2, will be built at the south-western end of the existing building complex on a previously unused area and will be connected to the F7 building through a closed bridge. In addition to test benches for the power unit and engines, there will be technical rooms, a mechanical workshop and workplaces for about 60 employees on a total area of 3,000 square meters. Completion of the extension is planned for the first quarter of 2024. Part of the new building is to be put into operation as early as March of next year.
The electricity and heat supply in Neuburg is already CO₂-neutral: the facility is supplied with district heating from industrial waste heat and green electricity from hydroelectric power plants. The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has awarded the facility its highest accolade for environmental conservation and sustainability with the three-star environmental seal of approval. Audi’s goal is to generate the energy for the Formula 1 project at the Neuburg facility completely independently and regeneratively in the medium term.
It is not only the infrastructure that is being expanded in Neuburg. The team is also growing steadily. Currently, around 220 employees have been recruited for the Formula 1 project at the Neuburg facility. The goal is to have more than 300 employees by mid-2023. “Developing a power unit for the world’s most demanding racing series in Germany is a great challenge,” says Adam Baker, Managing Director of Audi Formula Racing GmbH, which was founded for the project. “We already have a great team at our facility in Neuburg an der Donau that is growing all of the time.”