Sauber insists Audi “has a strong commitment to Formula 1” amid rumours

Formula 1

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Sauber, which will become the Audi Formula 1 team in 2026, has dismissed rumours casting doubt on the manufacturer’s commitment to the series.

Audi announced in August last year it will enter F1 as Sauber’s engine supplier in 2026. It has issued occasional updates on the development of its facilities at Neuberg an der Donau in Germany.

However the departure of Audi CEO Markus Duesmann in June prompted speculation its entry into F1 was in jeopardy.

Sauber’s F1 team is currently branded by Alfa Romeo under a deal which concludes at the end of this season. The team’s representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi insisted Audi’s entry into F1 is going ahead as planned.

“Audi has a strong commitment to Formula 1 and of course together with Sauber,” he said. “This commitment comes from a decision not only of the board of Audi but also the advisory board of Audi and the supervisory board of Audi Volkswagen. So it is a group decision and the commitment is there.”

He said the team has revealed little about its future of plans out of respect to Alfa Romeo. “We are Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake so until the end of the year we have certain limitations in communicating about the team, about the future, about the involvement of Audi,” he said. “We fully respect Alfa Romeo for this and we don’t want to make any kind of announcement or more than what is strictly related to the race and the championship.”

However Sauber has already made several major hires, including the appointment of former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl as Group CEO and James Key as its technical director, a role he previously held at McLaren.

“The commitment, as I said, is there,” Alunni Bravi stressed. “We are working hard to develop the structure of the team. We have a strong recruitment plan in place. James Key is one but we have on a weekly basis new appointments.

“It’s is not a matter of the involvement of Audi in financing the team or sustaining this development process,” he said. “We have two owners, two shareholders, there is a governance in place according to the different stage of the transaction that will be completed ahead of the 2026 season. So we are proceeding with the investment plan with everything in accordance with the governance that has been agreed.”

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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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