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Ferrari and Mercedes hit back at Audi/Porsche rumours

Porsche and Audi have been heavily linked to F1 in recent times, but the two brands are yet to officially confirm entries to the sport, or how they would plan to do so.

Ferrari and Mercedes have denied that current F1 engine manufacturers are trying to delay confirmation of the 2026 engine rules to hinder Audi and Porsche. Audi and Porsche – Volkswagen Group brands – are both poised to join the sport when the new formula comes into play, but official confirmation has yet to arrive. Until now, a declaration from Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess during a conference call in May is as far as the company have gone, with no details shared as to whether Porsche or Audi will enter as new teams or through partnerships with existing outfits. Meanwhile, the wait goes on to find out exactly what F1's new power unit regulations will look like, following months of discussions between existing manufacturers, prospective manufacturers and F1's governing body, the FIA.

At a glance: F1's planned power unit regulations

In late 2021, the FIA confirmed that F1's new power unit is set to be based on four key pillars: - Retaining the 1.6-litre V6 engine - Increasing electrical power to 350kW - Eliminating the MGU-H - Introducing a power unit cost cap Five months later, further progress was shared, in tandem with planned updates to the aerodynamic rules. The following preliminary targets were set by the FIA, after simulation work by their own aero department: Significantly reduced drag to improve sustainability and efficiency and complement the power unit characteristics. Maintain and improve on recent lessons learned about close racing and cars being able to follow each other. Reduce car dimensions. Reduce or contain car mass. Sustainability: continue path towards the standardisation or simplification of strategically-selected components for cost-cutting purposes. Expand the usage of sustainable materials or technologies and focus on recyclability. Continued innovation in terms of car safety, moving towards active and connected safety systems. In the latest update from the FIA earlier this month, the governing body stated that "the package of regulations is close to finalisation".

Ferrari "very positive" about Audi and Porsche entries

With time ticking by, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto denied that the delays are down to existing manufacturers trying to make life difficult for new entrants. "I didn't hear those rumours, but we are very positive [about] Audi and Porsche joining F1," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "We are very positive because it's great for F1, it's great havingmore manufacturers and it's great to have the Volkswagen Group within ourbusiness and our F1 racing championship." Binotto then referenced the "compromises" existing manufacturers have already agreed to make, including the removal of the complex MGU-H element. "I think we've done whatever we could, and tried to adapt, to make sure that [Audi and Porsche]were happy," he commented. "We removed the MGU-H and we did it only to try to help them join F1,and believe that for us, removing the H is something which is not maybe thebest choice. "It's a technology that we know pretty well, it's a very high-efficiencytechnology, which is great for F1, so I think that overall, again, we arevery positive and constructive." He added: "Why is it taking so long? Because I thinkit's time which is required to do things properly and, simply, we are not readyright now. "There are still open points andthose open points need to be tackled and discussed and agreed."

Mercedes wary of entries being "regulation dependent"

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff echoed Binotto's comments and urged the stakeholders involved not to get caught up in details. "There's not much to add to what Mattia said," he stated. "On the contrary, we don't want to delay those regulations. We want to have it in place." Wolff continued: "This is an environment where regulations will change all the time, so you can't make it regulation dependent. "It's something that we can expect from them also, because we've made big steps towards them. Let's make those final steps. It's more the detail and it doesn't matter. "We discussed 50 dyno hours up and down for newcomers, but we'd like to have them [as] part of the show. They've been sitting on the table negotiating those regulations [for] a while but not committed yet." Audi have never made the step into F1 during their time in motorsport, while Porsche were last involved back in 1991, as an engine supplier to Footwork. Prior to that, Porsche's greatest success in F1 came as an engine supplier to McLaren in the 1980s, which were branded as TAG/Porsche up until '87, winning 24 races between '84 and '87, as well as two Constructors' Championships in '84 and '85.

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