German car manufacturer Audi has purchased a minority stake Sauber, the Formula 1 team has confirmed.
Sauber, which operates the Alfa Romeo team that currently competes in F1, will partner with Audi as the manufacturer’s team for their first entry into the sport in 2026. Audi’s arrival is timed to coincide with the introduction of new power unit regulations.
In a statement, Sauber confirmed that Audi had acquired the stake in its group. The move comes after the manufacturer began its recruiting process for its F1 entry and commenced work on building a new facility to house their F1 power unit development at Audi’s Competence Center Motorsport in Neuberg an der Donau.
“The Sauber Group is pleased to announce that, as per the plans outlined in October last year, Audi acquired a minority stake in the Sauber Group in January 2023,” Sauber stated. “This is an important milestone on the way to Audi’s entry in Formula One, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group will be the German brand’s strategic partner.”
Late last year, Sauber hired former McLaren team principal Andrea Seidl as the group’s new CEO to oversee the team’s transition into Audi’s factory team. The move to appoint Seidl was welcomed by Audi’s chief technical officer, Oliver Hoffmann.
“Andreas Seidl has extensive experience in leadership roles across motorsport programs on both the manufacturer and Formula 1 team side,” Hoffmann said. “His track record in motorsport is impressive.”
Alessandro Alunni Bravi was appointed as the team’s new F1 representative last week, giving him responsibility for all duties expected of a team principal during all F1 events.
Sauber will compete as Alfa Romeo for a final season in 2023 before their partnership with the Italian brand reaches its end. Alfa Romeo finished sixth in the 2022 constructors’ championship and will retain its driver line up of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu for 2023. It will present its new car on February 7th.
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