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Now it’s official: Audi e Sauber will be together in Formula 1 from 2026. The German car manufacturer made the announcement this Wednesday morning (26), confirming a “strategic partnership”, which will make the Swiss team the official Audi team in the category.
Audi had announced in August that it would enter F1 in 2026, at the start of the new engine era of the World Championship, but had not yet confirmed its plans beyond the supply of power units.
The link to Sauber was a secret known to everyone in the paddock, but it still depended on the automaker making it official. The same day it announced its F1 entry, Alfa Romeo confirmed the end of the partnership with Sauber after the end of the 2023 season, which intensified the rumours.
In the statement, Audi called Sauber “one of the most traditional and renowned teams in Formula 1”, and gave more details on how the team operates. The engine will be developed at Audi’s Competent Motorsport Center in Neuburg, while Sauber will be responsible for producing the car and managing racing operations in Hinwil, Switzerland.
“We are delighted to have found such an experienced and capable partner for our ambitious Formula 1 project,” said Audi Technical Development Board Member Oliver Hoffman. “Sauber is already known for its state-of-the-art factory and experienced team from previous collaborations, and we are confident that we will form a strong team.”
Audi says it already has knowledge of the Sauber structure from its use of the team’s wind tunnel during its stint in the World Endurance Championship and Class 1 touring cars in the DTM over the past decade.
In the press release, Audi also confirms the acquisition of part of the shares of the Sauber group, but without specifying the amount. It is assumed that the automaker is set to acquire 75% of the team, in 25% increments over 2023, 2024 and 2025. But Sauber, who will be called that again in 2024 in F1, will only be known as Audi only from 2026.
“Audi is the Sauber Group’s best partner,” said Finn Rausing, managing director of Sauber Holding. “It is clear that both companies share the same values and vision. We look forward to achieving our common goals with a strong and successful partnership.”
According to Audi, the automaker already has more than 120 employees working on the design of the new engine, while the Neuburg headquarters is expected to undergo an expansion of staff and technical infrastructure throughout 2023, and the first tests of the engine with an F1 car should. will take place in 2025.
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