UNITED KINGDOM: Audi’s much-anticipated entry into F1 as a works team in 2026 has taken a big step forward with acquiring a minority stake in Sauber.
The German car manufacturer announced its intention to enter F1 last August, followed by news in October that Sauber would become its “strategic partner” and build the chassis for its F1 program.
Sauber had revealed earlier that Audi would purchase a stake in its F1 team
Sauber has confirmed that the company has indeed purchased an unspecified stake in the Swiss-based team.
Sauber described the investment as an “important milestone” for Audi’s F1 debut and emphasized that the Sauber Group will continue to operate as Audi’s strategic partner for the program.
Sauber’s Hinwil facility, which includes a state-of-the-art wind tunnel, will serve as an important base for Audi’s F1 effort, while the German carmaker is building a separate factory in Neuberg, Germany, to develop the power unit.
The 3,000-square-metre facility in Neuberg will house test benches for the 1.6 litre V6 turbo-hybrid engines. The facility is an expansion of the site that was previously the base of Audi’s successful LMP1 program in the World Endurance Championships.
It is expected that the extension of the site will be completed by the first quarter of 2024. Sauber will continue to use Ferrari engines until 2025, after which it will become the works Audi F1 team.
The Swiss-based team will operate under its own name in F1 after the end of the forthcoming season, with its agreement with Alfa Romeo coming to an end.
The acquisition of a minority stake in Sauber by the company is a significant step forward in the German carmaker’s preparation for its much-anticipated debut in F1 in 2026.
With a state-of-the-art facility in Hinwil and the development of a separate power unit factory in Neuberg, Audi is poised to make a significant impact in the world championship.
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