A show model Audi Formula 1 car in Belgium on August 26, 2022 after announcing its participation in the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Sem van der Val | ANP | Getty Images
Audi’s entry into Formula 1 came a step closer after the German automaker acquired a minority stake in Sauber.
The acquisition comes three months after Sauber confirmed it would become Audi’s strategic partner when the German brand enters F1 in 2026.
The current partnership with Swiss constructor Alfa Romeo will end after next season.
“This is an important milestone for Audi’s planned entry into F1 in 2026, making the Sauber Group a strategic partner of the German brand,” Sauber said in a statement.
Sauber plans to run with Ferrari power units in 2024 and 2025 before Audi intervenes.
In October, then-Sauber team principal Frédéric Vasseur described the partnership as “the best option for the future”.
“Becoming Audi’s official works team is not only an honor and a great responsibility, but also the best option for the future and helping Audi achieve the goals it has set for its journey in Formula 1. I am confident that it can be done.
For Sauber, this BMW In the 2000s, owner Finn Rausing claimed that Audi was “the best strategic partner” for the company.
My goal now is to at least get back to upper midfield.
Sauber, which first debuted in Formula 1 in 1993, partnered with Alfa Romeo in 2018, but has been running on a smaller budget than almost all of its rivals and has been heading towards the back of the grid ever since.
A partnership with Audi would certainly help their cause, as the automaker is developing the engine from its German base and the chassis is expected to continue to be developed at Sauber’s Swiss base.
The new generation F1 engine features increased power and 100% sustainable fuel.
Oliver Hoffmann, Audi’s board member responsible for the F1 program at corporate level, said:
In a statement sent to sky sports, An Audi spokesperson said it was a “significant milestone” for the German to enter F1 in 2026.
“As part of the acquisition, Julius Seebach has joined Sauber’s board of directors as official representative of Audi AG,” the statement added.
announced last week, Alessandro Arni Bravi takes on senior leadership role Under Seidl, he will assume media duties during the 2023 season.
Arni Brabi, who is also managing director of the Sauber Group, which runs the Swiss-based team, has been given the official title of team principal.
As Alfa Romeo, Sauber is effectively the title sponsor Stellantisowned brand. That deal is set to expire after the 2023 season with the team that will race as Audi from 2026.
audi Confirmed to join F1 in August Worked as a power unit supplier for four years and was previously tied to a partnership with McLaren.
Friend Volkswagen Meanwhile, brand Porsche has maintained its interest in F1 despite a failed deal with Red Bull.