October 4, 2023
Audi buys minority stake in Sauber forward of 2026 entry

A present mannequin Audi Method 1 automobile on Aug. 26 2022 in Belgium after asserting its participation within the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium.

Sem van der Wal | ANP | Getty Pictures

Audi’s entry into Method 1 has moved a step nearer after the German automobile producer acquired a minority stake in Sauber.

The acquisition comes three months after Sauber confirmed they might develop into Audi’s strategic companion when the German marque enters Method 1 in 2026.

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Audi buys minority stake in Sauber forward of 2026 entry

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The Swiss constructor’s present partnership with Alfa Romeo will finish after the approaching season.

“This is a vital milestone on the way in which to Audi’s entry in Method One, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group would be the German model’s strategic companion,” Sauber mentioned in an announcement.

Sauber will run with Ferrari energy items in 2024 and 2025, earlier than Audi steps in.

Talking in October, then-Sauber crew principal Frederic Vasseur described the partnership because the “best choice for the longer term.”

“To develop into Audi’s official works crew isn’t solely an honor and an excellent duty, it is the most suitable choice for the longer term and we’re absolutely assured we may also help Audi obtain the targets they’ve set for his or her journey in Method 1,” he mentioned.

On Jan. 14, Andreas Seidl changed Vasseur as Sauber’s chief government after the latter joined Ferrari, and can oversee Audi’s entry into F1.

It’s Sauber’s second full works settlement after their link-up with BMW within the 2000s, with proprietor Finn Rausing insisting Audi have been the “finest strategic companion” for the corporate.

The purpose now can be to return to at the very least the higher midfield.

Sauber, who first debuted in Method 1 in 1993, partnered with Alfa Romeo in 2018 however have nonetheless been working at a smaller finances than practically all of their rivals, and have been in direction of the again of the grid since.

A link-up with Audi will definitely assist their trigger, with the carmaker creating engines from their German base, and the chassis nonetheless anticipated to be developed at Sauber’s Switzerland base.

The brand new technology of F1 engines will function elevated electrical energy and 100% sustainable fuels.

“We’re delighted to have gained such an skilled and competent companion for our formidable Method 1 venture,” mentioned Audi board member Oliver Hoffman, who’s accountable for the F1 program at company degree.

In an announcement despatched to Sky Sports activities, an Audi spokesperson mentioned it is a “key milestone” for the German’s F1 entry in 2026.

“As a part of the acquisition, Julius Seebach joined the Sauber board of administrators because the official consultant of the Audi AG,” the assertion added.

Final week, it was introduced that Alessandro Alunnni Bravi would take up a senior management position underneath Seidl, which can see him tackle media duties in the course of the 2023 seasons.

Alunni Bravi who can also be managing director of the Sauber Group that runs the Swiss-based crew, has been given the official title of crew consultant.

Sauber compete as Alfa Romeo in what’s successfully a title sponsorship with the Stellantis-owned model. That deal is because of finish after the 2023 season with the crew resulting from race as Audi from 2026.

Audi confirmed in August they might be getting into Method 1 in 4 years as an influence unit provider and had been beforehand linked with a partnership with McLaren.

Fellow Volkswagen model Porsche, in the meantime, noticed a deal fall by way of with Crimson Bull however nonetheless retain an F1 curiosity.

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