Formula 1 | Official: Audi to collaborate with Sauber for F1 project

When Audi announced its entry into F1, the German manufacturer was rumored to have chosen Sauber as its partner. It is now official and we know the first details of this alliance.

Audi announced in the summer that it was coming to Formula 1 for the new 2026 regulations, but the manufacturer did not provide any details. We just knew that its engines would be manufactured in Neubourg-sur-le-Dunabe, Germany.

After that, we learn that the chassis of the Audi project will be made at the Sauber plant in Hinwil, Switzerland. The Swiss team, currently known as Alfa Romeo F1, will no longer be a partner of the Italian brand from the end of 2023. In addition, Audi plans to buy a stake in the team without confirming any figures. It is currently (still rumored) to be 75%.

In 2024 and 2025, the team will experience a transitional period as Sauber and with Ferrari engines before becoming an official Audi team in 2026, as BMW became Sauber in 2006. It wouldn’t be out of place in the Audi Sauber building, as the Hinwil wind tunnel is used for its WEC prototypes and the A4 in the DTM.

“We are delighted to have acquired such an experienced and capable partner for our ambitious Formula 1 project” says Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development of AUDI AG.

“We already know the Sauber Group with its state-of-the-art facilities and experienced team from our previous collaborations, and we are confident that together we will form a strong team.”

“Same Values ​​and Same Vision”

Sauber CEO and current team owner Finn Rausing welcomes the future partnership between the two brands. He hopes that this deal will ensure a bright future for his team.

“Audi is the best partner of the Sauber Group” Rausing says. “It is clear that both companies share the same values ​​and vision. We look forward to achieving our common goals through a strong and successful partnership.”

Sauber F1 team director Frédéric Vasseur also commented on this great news: “The partnership between Audi AG and Sauber Motorsport is a key step for our team as we continue to progress on the grid.”

“Being an official team of Audi is not only an honor and a great responsibility: it is the best choice for the future and we are absolutely sure that we can help Audi achieve the goals they set for themselves. For their adventures in Formula 1.”

The project has already been started, the plant will develop

The development of the power unit consisting of the electric motor, battery, control systems and internet combustion engine is already being carried out rapidly in the premises of the specially founded Audi Formula Racing GmbH in Neuburg-sur-le-Danube. More than 120 employees are already working on the project.

2023 will essentially serve the development of the German factory in terms of personnel and infrastructure. Production lines and the building itself will develop. Audi aims to start engine testing in 2025.

“Sauber is the best partner for the use of our Audi Power Unit” General Manager Adam Baker said. “We look forward to working with an experienced team that has helped shape many eras in Formula 1 history. Together, we want to write the next chapter from 2026.”

The FIA ​​still welcomes Audi’s arrival

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem welcomed the news. According to him, the fact that Audi has found a partner to become a works team shows the attractiveness of F1 and its future regulations.

Changes to engine regulations for 2026, and in particular the abandonment of the expensive MGU-H, have opened the door to new engine manufacturers. But it’s a stronger signal that Audi is sending back, not just as a supplier of power units, but as a construction team.

“The strategic alliance between Sauber Motorsport and Audi is an important step for F1” Ben Sulayem said. “This is further proof that the 2026 FIA Regulations are attractive to manufacturers such as Audi at a time of significant growth for the sport.”

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