The German car manufacturer and a new entrant in Formula 1, Audi, has inked a new collaboration with Sauber for its 2026 Formula 1 debut. In this deal, the Swiss team has planned to operate as the German brand’s factory team.
The strategic collaboration will see Sauber provided with engines from the dawn of the current engine regulatory oversight era, which will focus on 100% self-sustaining fuels, an effective program for a new entrant.
Aside from the engines, Sauber will maintain operational management of the team on race day, and the vehicle will remain to be built at the team’s Hinwil headquarters.
Audi’s Neuburg facility, where the engines will be built, is rapidly expanding its personnel, buildings, and technical facilities to endeavour. This is anticipated to be mostly in place by 2023. This is a delay from the original timeline confirmed by Audi in August when the corporation stated that the vast bulk of the development would be accomplished by the end of this year.
The first experiments of Audi’s Formula 1 engines are scheduled for 2025. This means it will take place just one year before its on-track debut.
Audi also intends to buy a shareholding in Sauber Group, with prior rumours claiming that the automaker was looking to purchase 75% of the Formula 1 team.
Alfa Romeo‘s current sponsorship agreement with Sauber is set to expire at the end of the 2023 season. With this, Audi marketing will almost certainly appear on the car before its official debut in the global motorsport series in 2026.
Oliver Hoffmann, a Member of the Board for Technical Development at Audi, commented, “We are delighted to have gained such an experienced and competent partner for our ambitious Formula One project. 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.”
Finn Rausing, Chairman of Sauber Holding, said, “Audi is the best partner for the Sauber Group. It is clear that both companies share the same values and vision. We are looking forward to achieving our common goals with a strong and successful partnership.”