Audi has offered a first proper update of the progress it is making with its new Formula 1 engine, saying it is already covering race distances in dyno tests.

The German manufacturer is gearing up for a works entry in 2026 when it will officially replace the Sauber team on the grid.

And while it has kept relatively low-key so far in revealing how far advanced work was at its Neuburg headquarters, on Friday morning it revealed some details about where things were at.

In an interview it published with Audi Formula Racing’s CEO Adam Baker and chief technical officer Stefan Dreyer, it made it clear that work was on schedule.

Baker said: “After just two years, our power unit, consisting of a combustion engine, electric motor, battery and control electronics, is running dynamically on the test bench.

“Successfully marrying the various components into a single unit is the result of hard work and great teamwork.

“The Audi Power Unit has already covered simulated race distances on the test bench. We gained a lot of testing time with the individual components in 2023 and were able to incorporate the experience gained into the next construction stages in parallel.

“Significant milestones and goals have been achieved, which gives the entire team a good feeling.”

Showcar with Audi F1 launch livery

Showcar with Audi F1 launch livery

Audi revealed that the German manufacturer had picked some of the more challenging venues for its tests, including the new Las Vegas circuit.

Dreyer said: "We run the power unit on the test bench with different layouts from the current F1 calendar, depending on the purpose of the test.

“For example, Las Vegas is interesting for our development team in terms of overall energy management. Several alternating fast and slow corners and almost two kilometres of full throttle driving on the Las Vegas Strip provide the perfect development environment for fine-tuning the combustion engine and the ERS (Energy Recovery System) components.”

Dreyer added that with the power unit now having hit race distances in runs, work could shift to adding further elements to its package.

“After the successful race distances with the power unit we will soon be doing the same with the entire drive system, which means the combination of power unit and transmission,” he explained.

“At the same time, we are going full throttle with performance development in order to achieve the goals we have set ourselves.”

As well as the work on the engine, Audi has made a huge investment in bringing its facilities at Neuburg up to F1 standard.

Dreyer added: “We implemented a very ambitious modernisation and expansion of our test facility. Today, we have 22 state-of-the-art test benches at the site. Our new development tools are state-of-the-art and have enabled us to achieve a steep learning curve.”

Audi said it would be working with a current fuel supplier for its 2026 project, and had recruited technician from other F1 manufacturers to help boost its knowledge base.