The motorsport world has been abuzz with speculation about Audi’s involvement in its long-awaited Formula One project for 2026.
In the midst of these swirling rumours, Sauber managing director Alessandro Alunni Bravi has stepped forward to clarify the situation. Bravi has confirmed that Audi’s intentions to enter Formula One remain firm. This is a significant assertion, especially after Audi announced over a year ago that it intended to compete in line with F1’s new technical regulations.
The Sauber-Audi partnership
Audi’s foray into Formula One is expected to see it acquire a significant stake in the Sauber Group. At present, Sauber works in partnership with Alfa Romeo, but the collaboration with Audi promises to herald a new chapter for the Swiss outfit.
Despite the rumours, Bravi’s statement emphasises that the Audi project is moving forward without a hitch. The strategic alignment with Sauber indicates a long-term vision that is eagerly awaited by the racing community.
Strengthening the team infrastructure
As part of the preparations for Audi’s arrival, Sauber has been proactive in strengthening its team infrastructure. High-profile hires include Andreas Seidl and James Key, both of whom joined from McLaren last year.
But Bravi is keen to stress that the recruitment drive is not just about big names.
“We have a strong recruitment plan,” he said. “James Key is one, but we are making new appointments on a weekly basis.”
Financial & development governance
In response to concerns about the financial aspects of the collaboration, Bravi makes it clear that the recruitment and development process is not solely dependent on Audi’s financial input. He explains that Sauber is backed by two shareholders and that a governance structure is in place that is aligned with the various stages of the transaction, which is expected to be completed before the start of the 2026 season.
The investment plan will be executed according to an agreed governance framework to ensure that the development milestones leading up to 2026 are achieved efficiently.
Looking ahead to 2026
Bravi’s comments provide reassurance not only to Sauber’s team members, but also to the global F1 fanbase eagerly awaiting Audi’s entry into the world’s premier motorsport series.
Sauber’s management proactive strategy and ongoing investment underline a collective commitment to success in the new era of Formula One from 2026. Albeit, that is the plan.
In summary, Sauber’s response to exit speculation attempts to dispel concerns about Audi’s future in the sport, and also presents a vision of a robust and forward-looking partnership ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that come with the evolving landscape of Formula One.
One would expect nothing less from a small Swiss team relying on a huge takeover from a global giant in the automotive industry.
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