Saturday December 9, 2023

Audi Buys Minority Stake in Sauber As F1 Entry Looms

  • Audi is buying into Sauber as part of a long-term plan to enter Formula 1.
  • The company is expanding its infrastructure to develop F1 power units.
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Years before it enters the racing series, Audi is making a major commitment to Formula 1.

Sauber announced that the Volkswagen-owned company bought a minority stake in the Swiss car brand in January, calling it “an important milestone on the way to Audi’s entry in Formula One, scheduled for 2026.” 

The Sauber Group will be Audi’s “strategic partner.”

  • Audi will supply the power units for the team, starting in 2026.
  • In 2026, engine regulations will change to nearly triple the output from electrical sources to 350 kW and use 100% sustainable fuels from non-food plant sources, municipal waste, or carbon capture.
  • Sauber currently races under the Alfa Romeo name via a sponsorship deal that expires after the upcoming season.

Sauber’s team hasn’t been competitive in recent years: It last finished in the top half of the F1 constructors’ championship in 2012, and its most recent top-three finish was in 2008.

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Infrastructure Expansion

Audi’s commitment to F1 goes beyond buying into Sauber. 

In December, the company announced it’s expanding its facility in Neuberg, outside Frankfurt, by adding a roughly 10,000 square-foot building focused on the F1 team. The new building will include test benches for developing the racing team’s power unit.

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