Audi confirms it will team up with Sauber for 2026 F1 entry

2026 F1 season

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Audi has announced it has selected the Formula 1 team it will supply power units to when it enters the series in 2026.

The Swiss-based Sauber team, whose F1 entry has been branded by Alfa Romeo since 2019, will partner with the German manufacturer. Audi will take a stake in the company and Sauber will compete as its works team from 2026.

The news has been widely expected since Audi confirmed in August it plans to enter the series. Alfa Romeo confirmed within hours of that announcement its partnership with Sauber will end after the 2023 F1 season.

Audi will enter F1 in 2026 to coincide with the introduction of new power unit regulations. Sauber will continue to use Ferrari power until then, the team confirmed.

Sauber’s chassis building operation will remain at its well-equipped factory in Hinwil, Switzerland. Audi’s power units are to be developed 250 kilometres away in Germany, at the Audi Motorsport Competence Center in Neuburg an der Donau.

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo, Circuit of the Americas, 2022
Next year will be the last for Alfa Romeo in F1
“The partnership between Audi AG and Sauber Motorsport is a key step for our team as we continue to make progress towards the front of the grid,” said team principal Frederic Vasseur.” To become Audi’s official works team is not only an honour and a great responsibility: it’s the best option for the future and we are fully confident we can help Audi achieve the objectives they have set for their journey in Formula 1.”

Audi board member Oliver Hoffman said Audi had selected “an experienced and competent partner” for its first entry into F1. “We already know the Sauber Group with its state-of-the-art facility and experienced team from previous collaborations and are convinced that together we will form a strong team.” Audi used Sauber’s wind tunnel to develop its successful Le Mans prototype sports cars and DTM touring cars.

F1 CEO Stefano Deomnicali welcomed Audi’s confirmation of its plans. “It is great news to hear that Audi will have a partnership with Sauber for their entry into Formula 1 in 2026,” he said. “The combination of those two names is a very exciting prospect for our sport.”

Sauber has a long history of involvement with other manufacturers. Prior to its Audi tie-up the operation served as BMW’s F1 team from 2006 to 2009. It arrived in F1 in 1993 with Mercedes power but rumours it would become their works F1 team never materialised, despite the successful collaboration between the two in sports car racing.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “Audi confirms it will team up with Sauber for 2026 F1 entry”

  1. Straight to the back of the grid then

  2. Audi investing big with Sauber, Williams doing something similar with Porsche (as it is rumored), Aston Martin probably getting the desired results they’d expect by then by building the new factory… 3 “backmaker” teams getting big boosts.

    I hope that with the help of budget cap being applied for some years and due to performarce convergence as the years go by, we can have a significant shift in team dynamics by 2026…

    1. Only one team can win. Only three teams may claim a spot on the podium. Someone has to be last.

      If the past is any indication, a series full of works teams isn’t going to be the epitome of stability.

      1. @proesterchen

        Only one team can win. Only three teams may claim a spot on the podium. Someone has to be last.

        For sure, but having more than 2 teams capable for wins seems like a breath of fresh air to me…
        In 2012, even if it was mostly a 3-team battle, we had 6 different teams winning races and 2 more even challenged for a win at some point… there is no reason why we can’t at least hope to achieve a fraction of that level of competitive field in the future.

    2. Time for Sauber and Williams to begin preparations for when the manufacturers pull out again. Use the manufacturers leverage and brand exposure to secure long-term corporate partners to ensure that they survive beyond the next gravy train.

      1. Kringle, why are manufacturers more likely to pull out? Mercedes has been in F1 since 2010 as a full team, and for long before that as an engine supplier. During that time, quite a few non-manufacturer teams have come and gone, Spyker, Manor, Force India, Minardi, Marussia,…. I’m not saying car manufacturers are always in it for the long haul, they obviously are not, but I think small teams are just as likely to duck out if they don’t get quick success. All of the engines currently used in F1, Merc, Ferrari, Honda, Renault, are all backed by car manufacturers.

        I think we just tend to think of manufacturers as more likely to duck and run because they make more of an impression. I can remember names like BMW and Jaguar coming in and out. Remembering the names of minor independents like Racing Point is much harder, especially when teams are changing their identity for sponsorship reasons. It also doesn’t help that car manufacturers put their names on cars purely as a sponsor, knowing that many people will think of them as building the car, like Lotus a few years back. So many people at the time were saying it was great to see Lotus back in F1, but they were there in the form of cheque book only.

      2. The huge difference is that with the budget cap, it is FAR easier for companies to sign off on budgets, the budgets are also a lot lower than they used to be. And teams can even make a profit if they do well on track, altogether that makes owning the team an asset on the books of the company instead of an endless pit hungry for money like they used to be.

  3. Next year will be the last for Alfa Romeo in F1

    Alfe Romeo is not in Formula 1.

    Alfa Romeo can pay any number of other teams to put a sticker on their cars, if that’s what they desire.

    1. Indeed. Maybe well get the return of Sauber F1 on the grid for ’24 – ’25 ( it would’ve been fortuitous for ’23, a 30 year celebration)

      1. So I have a stupid question because I’m not 100% sure I understand the “works team” concept. Are the cars going to be running as Audi or Sauber-with-Audi-engines from 2026? Thanks.

        @proesterchen @uneedafinn2win

        1. I’m not sure about the final naming of the chassis, but as I understand the deal, Audi is going to own the majority (75% as reported elsewhere) of Sauber and intends to run the team as a full works entry.

          So my money would be on “Audi” being the entrant in 2026.

          1. The entrant will probably continue to be Sauber, with the team being known as “Audi Sauber” or some such given the team’s history (“Sauber-Mercedes” in sportscars and “BMW Sauber” in F1).

          2. @geemac

            This team is currently running as “Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN”, with a chassis called “Alfa Romeo” and a “Ferrari” engine.


            We know the engine will be an “Audi” in 2026, and with Audi owning 75% of the team, I don’t expect the Sauber name to return as the chassis designation.

          3. btw: When BMW controlled the team, their entry was under BMW (chassis and engine), too.

      2. It’ll stay Ferrari-powered, but maybe they’ll do the same naming deal as Alfa with someone else. Could be Chinese-owned…Lotus?!

    2. @proesterchen exactly, just like mercedes. Fake manufacturers.

      1. Mercedes-Benz do own a 1/3rd stake in their works team.

        Alfa-Romeo do not own any stake in the team carrying their stickers.

  4. Well we know what happened to BMW sauber

    1. Let’s hope that whoever become team leader (Alan McNish?) learned from that @qeki

  5. So will it be a Ferrari powered Audi entry from next year till 2026 or a Sauber – Ferrari ?

    1. Audi isn’t entering next year.

  6. Frees up Alfa to sponsor Haas which may bring them some financial stability.

    1. Haas just last week announced a title sponsorship with MoneyGram starting in 2023. I think Alfa is out of the equation for now.

      1. Given Halas’s history with title sponsors I do t expect MoneyGram to last more than 3 years

  7. My only disappointment is that we’ll miss out on the gorgeous Alfa liveries after next year! I can’t imagine Audi’s being particularly inspiring.

  8. So who is floating Sauber for 2024 and 2025 seasons? It’s surprising they couldn’t negotiate a short term contract with Alfa and/or an earlier start with Audi.

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