Audi ends its LMDh program;  his involvement in F1 with Williams raised

Audi ends its LMDh program; his involvement in F1 with Williams raised

Saturday March 12, 2022 by Philippe Brasseur

Audi Sport, which last year announced its return to the Endurance GTP (LMDh) model category in 2023, has now suspended this program. According to the brand, “Audi has suspended production of its LMDh for 2-3 months due to parts supply issues.”

So much for the official version because it is known that this new model, whose chassis is made in Canada by the company Multimatic, should hit the track in one to two weeks for its first development tests. Regarding the problems with the supply of parts, it is surprising to see that, since this Audi LMDh program has several points in common with that of Porsche and that the hybrid system is exclusive to all cars of the future LMDh regulations, Audi is facing problems to start. The development of his model where Porsche (chassis also manufactured by Multimatic) has already done almost 2500 km of tests on the track in Europe, this winter!

Therefore, Porsche should continue this program in Endurance as the sole representative of the VAG group, as well as possibly putting its name on the F1 engines of the Red Bull teams by 2026, the agreement between Red Bull Technologies and the German manufacturer to be more often . mentioned.

For Audi, the end of the Endurance LMDh program is obviously accompanied by a reflection of the brand’s commitment to Formula 1, perhaps buying McLaren as rumored in 2021 or, more seriously, making Williams its official team with an engine designed and developed entirely by Audi. Sports and Williams.

This Williams-Audi marriage will be logical as the two vehicles can complement each other. Let’s also not forget that in Williams, we already have two former heads of the VAG group in motorsport, namely Jost Capito, and Sven Smeets, heads of the Volkswagen Motorsport program in the World Rally Championship (4 titles between 2013 and 2016). Capito currently serves as president and Smeets as athletic director at Williams.

In addition, it was Williams Advanced Engineering (in 2012 through its Williams Hybrid Power division) that developed the hybrid system for early Audi prototypes, winners in the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the production of hybrid units. . for Formula E, in which Audi was one of the regular competitors until last year. Technical cooperation between Williams and Audi is therefore not new.

Finally, it should be noted that Audi’s programs in Rally-Raid (including hybrid cars competing in the Dakar and other events of this type) and customer competition with the R8 GT3 and GT4 are not affected, at least in the short term, by. the suspension of this LMDh program nor the possibility of a voluntary announcement in F1.

** Don’t miss the new issue of Pole-Position magazine, published the day before yesterday and which shows the 2022 Formula 1 season. In addition to this small guide, the F1 section also presents an exclusive column of Canadian Grand Prix promoter François Dumontier , a tribute to Frank Williams and Niki Lauda’s F1 career in 25 photos. In Endurance, return to the 24 Hours of Daytona (2022 edition and history 1962-2022), a column by Kuno Wittmer and an interview with Robert Wickens at the start of his challenge new in this category.

Now you can read this version inside digital version or, order your hard copy (special offer to have it delivered directly to your home, tax and shipping included), Click here. Subscribers will receive their copies within the next week.