Mika Hakkinen believes Audi’s decision to join Formula 1 in 2026 is a significant moment that shows the sport is getting stronger.
Audi announced ahead of the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix that they will be joining F1 in 2026, when the new power unit regulations come into effect.
Mika Hakkinen believes this decision is very significant, and gives credit to the strength of F1, and reflected on the importance of having the German automaker in the sport in his Unibet column.
Hakkinen said: “Formula 1 is getting stronger and stronger and Audi’s decision to join the World Championship in 2026 is a really significant moment.
“Although they have only announced an engine programme to start with, I understand they plan to partner with, or buy, a team, placing Audi in direct competition with the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
“It’s going to be fantastic to see,” the Flying Finn maintained.
Hakkinen went on to hail the efforts F1 have put in, saying: “I see this as a result of the great work Formula 1 has done in recent years, growing the popularity of the sport through series like Drive to Survive on Netflix, the growth of social media and work which has been done to improve the competition.
“The 2026 engine regulations are also attractive because the engines will have almost half their power from electric energy and we will see fossil fuels replaced by green, sustainable fuel.
“Clearly this is attractive to a large car manufacturer like Audi, a brilliant piece of work by F1 and the FIA,” Hakkinen concluded.