Audi’s Formula 1 Power Unit Development Accelerated Through Simulator Driver Initiative

Audi is accelerating the development of its Formula 1 power unit by signing Swiss racing pro Neel Jani as a simulator driver. Jani will bring his extensive experience in motorsport to the project, which is due to enter the top category of motorsport in 2026.

Jani has spent many hours in Formula 1 simulators, having worked as a test and reserve driver at Red Bull Racing. He also has valuable experience in hybrid race cars, having won the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2016 as well as the famous 24-hour race at Le Mans.

Neel Jani

In his role as simulator driver, Jani will help develop the power unit’s performance and efficiency. He will also work on developing the power unit’s energy management system.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Jani stated, “I am thrilled to accompany Audi’s venture into Formula 1. Assuming a role in a project of this magnitude at its early stages is both an honor and a substantial responsibility. Drawing from my experience in Formula 1 and LMP projects, I am confident in my ability to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical aspects.”

Audi has adopted a multifaceted strategy for advancing its Formula 1 power unit. Alongside simulator utilization, the company is conducting tests with a one-cylinder engine and refining the power unit’s software.

Adam Baker, CEO of Audi Formula Racing GmbH, elucidated, “Presently, our emphasis primarily rests on fundamental concept queries critical to performance. However, in appraising diverse technical solutions, our reliance extends beyond digital methods. Expertise, experience, and tangible developmental progress are integral factors in extrapolating accurate conclusions from simulations. This amalgamation empowers us to assess a range of operational strategies early on, paving the way for effective energy management of the power unit.”

The inaugural hybrid power unit, encompassing the internal combustion engine, electric motor, battery, and control electronics, is scheduled to undergo dyno testing by year-end. This power unit is poised for its inaugural appearance in Formula 1 come 2026.

The inclusion of Neel Jani as a simulator driver signifies a significant leap in Audi’s Formula 1 power unit development initiative. Jani’s extensive experience and expertise will be instrumental as the team endeavors to engineer a competitive power unit for the forthcoming 2026 season.
Audi is employing a comprehensive strategy in the advancement of its Formula 1 power unit. The approach encompasses the utilization of simulators, the experimentation with a single-cylinder engine, and the enhancement of the power unit’s software.

The incorporation of simulators holds significant value in the Formula 1 power unit development process, as they provide a secure and controlled setting for engineers to evaluate diverse configurations and operational tactics. This facilitates the early identification of potential issues and the optimization of the power unit for varied race conditions.

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Audi’s dedication to the evolution of its Formula 1 power unit program is a substantial commitment to the future of motorsport. The company is harnessing cutting-edge technologies to cultivate a power unit that blends potency and efficiency.

For those interested in delving deeper into Audi’s Formula 1 power unit development initiative, additional information can be found on the official Audi website.

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