German automaker Audi announced in August that it would enter Formula 1 as a powertrain supplier and has now confirmed a partnership with Sauber. the Swiss manufacturer currently operates under the Alfa Romeo banner, but this partnership will end in 2023
Last update: 26/10/22 10:10
Sauber has confirmed it will become Audi’s strategic partner when the German brand enters Formula 1 in 2026.
The Swiss manufacturer has been racing under the Alfa Romeo banner since 2019, but this partnership will end at the end of the 2023 season.
Sauber will then continue to operate with power units from current supplier Ferrari in 2024 and 2025 before Audi takes over the following year, with Audi planning to “acquire a stake in the Sauber group”.
“The partnership between Audi AG and Sauber Motorsport is a key step for our team as we continue to progress towards the front of the grid,” said Sauber Team Principal Frederic Vasseur.
Audi Board Chairman Markus Duesmann announces that the German automaker has officially registered as an F1 power unit manufacturer
“Becoming the official Audi works team is not only an honor and a great responsibility, it is the best option for the future and we are fully convinced that we can help Audi achieve the goals that they have set themselves for their journey in Formula 1.”
It is Sauber’s second full employment agreement after their association with BMW in the 2000s and owner Finn Rausing has said Audi is the “best strategic partner” for the company.
The aim now will be to get back to at least the upper midfield.
Sauber, which made its Formula 1 debut in 1993, teamed up with Alfa Romeo in 2018 but is still operating on a lower budget than nearly all of its rivals, and has found itself at the back of the grid ever since.
A connection with Audi will certainly help their cause.
“We are delighted to have found such an experienced and capable partner for our ambitious Formula 1 project,” said Audi Board Member Oliver Hoffman, responsible for the F1 program at company level.
“We already know the Sauber Group with its state-of-the-art facilities and experienced team from previous collaborations and are confident that together we will form a strong team.”
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of F1, said: “It is great news to learn that Audi will have a partnership with Sauber for its entry into Formula 1 in 2026.
“The combination of these two names is a very exciting prospect for our sport. It highlights the strong momentum of Formula 1 and the belief in our strategy to grow and improve the sport while achieving our sustainability plans to be Net Zero. Carbon by 2030 with advanced sustainable fuels in cars in 2026.
“We look forward to seeing their progress over the next few years and the car on the grid for the team’s first race.”
Audi confirmed in August that they would enter Formula 1 in four years as a powertrain supplier and had previously been linked to a partnership with McLaren. Meanwhile, Volkswagen brand Porsche has seen a failed deal with Red Bull but still retains an interest in F1.
Audi will develop engines from its German base, with the chassis still to be developed at Sauber’s Swiss base.
The new generation of F1 engines will feature increased electrical power and 100% sustainable fuels.