Audi in F1: when will car manufacturer join Formula 1 - Sauber team link and what it could mean for Alfa Romeo
The German car manufacturer has confirmed it will run a team in the motor racing series in the future.
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The motor sport organisation recently announced new power unit regulations, specifically designed to make it attractive for newcomers to join, were published earlier this month.
It has not been confirmed whether the German manufacturer will run its own team or simply supply engines for another and there are reports that they could take over the Swiss-based Sauber team, currently run by Alfa Romeo.
Here is everything we know so far about when Audi will join Formula 1 and what has been said:
When will Audi join F1?
Audi are set to join Formula 1 in the 2026 season as a power unit supplier.
Per the official F1 website: “The 2026 power units will maintain the current V6 internal combustion engine architecture but feature increased electrical power and 100% sustainable fuels” and these are two factors which were key in influencing the German manufacturers decision.
F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali has commented, saying: “I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator,”
“This is a major moment for our sport that highlights the huge strength we have as a global platform that continues to grow.
“It is also a big recognition that our move to sustainably fuelled hybrid engines in 2026 is a future solution for the automotive sector.
“We are all looking forward to seeing the Audi logo on the grid and will be hearing further details from them on their plans in due course.”
Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG Markus Duesmann said: “Motorsport is an integral part of Audi’s DNA.
“Formula 1 is both a global stage for our brand and a highly challenging development laboratory.
“The combination of high performance and competition is always a driver of innovation and technology transfer in our industry. With the new rules, now is the right time for us to get involved.
“After all, Formula 1 and Audi both pursue clear sustainability goals.”
Will Audi takeover Sauber and what does it mean for Alfa Romeo?
Per a report from the BBC, Audi is “expected” to take over the Swiss-based Sauber team, which currently runs as Alfa Romeo.
It comes after Stellantis, the parent company of Alfa Romeo, announced that it would end its partnership with Sauber after the 2023 season.
That announcement came just hours after Audi confirmed they would be joining Formula 1.
A statement said: “Alfa Romeo communicates that its partnership with Sauber Motorsport will end within the end of 2023.
“Alfa Romeo announced its return in F1 in 2017 with a long term plan, and in July 2022 has announced the decision to continue its partnership with Sauber also for 2023, given to the promising results of the first half of the season, both in terms of performances, marketing and positive collaboration with the team.
“Since the economic and industrial turnaround of the brand will be achieved in 2022, Alfa Romeo will now evaluate among the many opportunities on the table, and decide which will be the best one to sustain the long term strategy and the positioning of the brand.”