Audi He has been forging his plan since last summer and the entry of the new year has led him to take another step in his strategy. The German brand announced last October its entry into Formula 1 in style. An announcement that was hardly surprising after so many rumors inside and outside the paddockjust as he did not the choice of your strategic partner for his debut in great circus. As expected, Alfa Romeo will leave the World Cup in 2026, ending its sponsorship with Sauber and leaving the way clear for Audi and the group to join forces towards its debut in the competition. With more than 30 years of experience in the competition sector, the German brand bets on the Swiss team to face the new engine regulations that will arrive that same year, with greater electrical power and 100% sustainable fuels. One of the great incentives for which Audi decided to take the step towards competition.
With this agreement, the Swiss team will participate in F1 as a factory team with the four rings, with its own power unit developed by the Germans which, moreover, is already running. It will consist of an electric motor, a battery, control systems and a combustion engine. On the other hand, Sauber will develop and manufacture the race car at its facilities in Hinwil (Switzerland), as well as being responsible for the planning and execution of race operations. However, the agreement also kept the idea that the brand with the four rings could acquire a stake within the group that, this January 2023, has become a reality.
About to end the month, the brand confirmed one more step in Audi’s plan within F1 while preparations for its great premiere in three years continue: “The Sauber Group is pleased to announce that, in accordance with the plans outlined in October last year, Audi acquired a minority stake in the Sauber Group in January 2023. This is an important milestone on the way to Audi’s entry into Formula 1, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group will be the strategic partner of the German brand.” Now wait until its premiere, but with a lot of work ahead. In fact, the first tests with the power unit developed for the 2026 regulations in a Formula 1 test car are not scheduled before 2025. But that does not mean that they should be neglected and, for this reason, they are already working in a certain hurry. “We have 42 months until the first race and we are in a good position, But it’s a huge challenge.” assured its top manager, Adam Baker, in a meeting with the press last October, in Madrid.
Everything that Audi prepares
No time to lose Audi has also gotten down to work with its headquarters in Neuburg (Germany). Last December, the brand began the works for the expansion of its factory with a view to the future entry into Formula 1: they will dedicate a new 3,000 m² module that will receive the name of F7.2 and It will have technical rooms, mechanical workshops and more test benches for the new power units. Construction is expected to end during the first quarter of 2024, although with certain areas that, they hope, may be in operation this coming March.