Audi will enter Formula 1 in 2026 as a partner of the Sauber team, which currently competes as Alfa Romeo.
In August, Audi confirmed it would join F1 as an engine developer when it introduced the new rules, but did not confirm which team it would be with.
On Wednesday it was announced, as expected, the German manufacturer will work with the Sauber team. Alfa Romeo recently confirmed that the collaboration with the team will end after 2025.
The news makes a seat at Sauber in 2026 an incredibly attractive option for any driver, and Audi hopes to be competitive right away – the company believes the new F1 engine regulations give it the opportunity to enter the sport on a more equal footing with existing F1 manufacturers. .
Sauber’s news announcement reads: “This partnership will take the team to new heights while guaranteeing the company’s long-term future – an organization that boasts a dedicated workforce, one of Europe’s leading wind tunnels and world-class motorsport production. facilities.”
The project will be based at the Audi Sport facility in Neuburg, Germany, close to the company’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, where Audi has already set up test benches for F1 engines.
F1 boss Stefano Domenicali said Audi’s arrival is an important moment for the sport.
“It’s great to hear that Audi will be partnering with Sauber for their entry into F1 in 2026,” he said. “The combination of these two names is a very exciting prospect for our sport. It highlights the strong momentum that Formula 1 has and the belief in our strategy to continue to grow and improve the sport while delivering on our sustainability plans to become net zero carbon by 2030 with advanced clean fuels in vehicles in 2026. .
“We look forward to their progress in the coming years and the cars on the grid in the team’s first race.”
For months, it seemed likely that Audi subsidiary Porsche, which is also part of the Volkswagen Group, would join F1.
Porsche hoped to acquire 50 percent of Red Bull Technologies, but negotiations between Red Bull and Porsche broke down in early September.
Red Bull was reluctant to relinquish control of its racing team and instead offered Porsche the opportunity to invest in its new powertrain division, which builds F1 engines.
It remains unclear whether Porsche will be looking to enter the sport with another team in 2026, although the desire is clearly there.