Audi has announced that Neel Jani will join their Formula 1 team as a simulator driver. The German manufacturer is preparing to make its return to the grand prix scene with the introduction of new engine regulations that eliminate the costly and complex Motor Generator Unit–Heat (MGU-H).
Audi has been conducting tests on a one-cylinder mule engine since the end of last year. They aim to have a complete 1.6-liter turbo hybrid powertrain ready for dyno testing by 2024. To support this project, they have signed 39-year-old Neel Jani, who previously tested for Sauber and Red Bull, to assist in their simulator program based at the Neuburg engine plant.
Jani, who achieved victory in the 2016 World Endurance Championship for Porsche and set a lap record at Spa with the 919 Hybrid Evo project, expressed his excitement about joining Audi’s Formula 1 endeavor. He acknowledged the honor and responsibility of being involved in such a significant project from its early stages and believes his experience from Formula 1 and LMP projects will help bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Neel Jani has previously been heavily involved in motorsport programs under the Volkswagen Group umbrella and led Porsche’s entry into Formula E in the 2019-20 season alongside Andre Lotterer.
Audi’s technical development boss, Oliver Hoffmann, emphasized the importance of simulation in their Formula 1 project and the need for a development driver who possesses both technological understanding and diverse experience, particularly in energy management under racing conditions.
Audi plans to enter Formula 1 as a full-fledged works team in 2026 following its majority takeover of the Sauber outfit in Hinwil. The operation will be led by Andreas Seidl, the former boss of Porsche LMP1 and former McLaren team principal.
Adam Baker, the chief executive of Audi Formula Racing, highlighted their focus on fundamental concept questions with performance implications as they progress towards 2026. He emphasized the combination of digital methods with practical knowledge, experience, and development to make informed decisions based on simulations and efficient energy management of the power unit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Audi, Neel Jani, Formula 1, simulator driver, engine regulations.
Who has Audi named as their F1 simulator driver?
Audi has named Neel Jani as their F1 simulator driver.
What is Audi’s plan regarding the new engine regulations in Formula 1?
Audi plans to return to Formula 1 with the new engine regulations that eliminate the Motor Generator Unit-Heat (MGU-H). They have been testing a one-cylinder mule engine and aim to have a complete 1.6-liter turbo hybrid powertrain ready for dyno testing by 2024.
What is Neel Jani’s background in motorsports?
Neel Jani has previously tested for Sauber and Red Bull. He won the 2016 World Endurance Championship for Porsche and was involved in Porsche’s Formula E entry in the 2019-20 season.
When will Audi enter Formula 1 as a works team?
Audi plans to enter Formula 1 as a works team in 2026 following their majority takeover of the Sauber outfit in Hinwil. The operation will be led by Andreas Seidl, former Porsche LMP1 boss and former McLaren team principal.
What role does simulation play in Audi’s Formula 1 project?
Simulation plays a major role in Audi’s Formula 1 project, especially in power unit development. They rely on a simulator and a development driver to assess various operating strategies and ensure efficient energy management of the power unit.
What is the focus of Audi’s progress towards 2026?
Audi is currently focused on fundamental concept questions with high relevance to performance. They combine digital methods with practical knowledge and experience to make informed decisions and pave the way for efficient energy management of the power unit.