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Method 1: Audi buys minority stake in Sauber forward of 2026 F1 entry

A present mannequin Audi Method 1 automobile on Aug. 26 2022 in Belgium after saying its participation within the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium.

Sem van der Wal | ANP | Getty Photographs

Audi’s entry into Method 1 has moved a step nearer after the German automobile producer acquired a minority stake in Sauber.

The acquisition comes three months after Sauber confirmed they might grow to be Audi’s strategic accomplice when the German marque enters Method 1 in 2026.

The Swiss constructor’s present partnership with Alfa Romeo will finish after the approaching season.

“This is a crucial milestone on the best way to Audi’s entry in Method One, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group would be the German model’s strategic accomplice,” Sauber stated in a press release.

Sauber will run with Ferrari energy models in 2024 and 2025, earlier than Audi steps in.

Talking in October, then-Sauber group principal Frederic Vasseur described the partnership because the “best choice for the longer term.”

“To grow to be Audi’s official works group just isn’t solely an honor and an amazing duty, it is the most suitable choice for the longer term and we’re absolutely assured we may also help Audi obtain the goals they’ve set for his or her journey in Method 1,” he stated.

On Jan. 14, Andreas Seidl changed Vasseur as Sauber’s chief govt after the latter joined Ferrari, and can oversee Audi’s entry into F1.

It’s Sauber’s second full works settlement after their link-up with BMW within the 2000s, with proprietor Finn Rausing insisting Audi had been the “greatest strategic accomplice” for the corporate.

The aim now will probably be to return to not less than the higher midfield.

Sauber, who first debuted in Method 1 in 1993, partnered with Alfa Romeo in 2018 however have nonetheless been working at a smaller finances than almost all of their rivals, and have been in the direction of the again of the grid since.

A link-up with Audi will definitely assist their trigger, with the carmaker growing engines from their German base, and the chassis nonetheless anticipated to be developed at Sauber’s Switzerland base.

The brand new era of F1 engines will characteristic elevated electrical energy and 100% sustainable fuels.

“We’re delighted to have gained such an skilled and competent accomplice for our bold Method 1 undertaking,” stated Audi board member Oliver Hoffman, who’s chargeable for the F1 program at company stage.

In a press release despatched to Sky Sports activities, an Audi spokesperson stated it is a “key milestone” for the German’s F1 entry in 2026.

“As a part of the acquisition, Julius Seebach joined the Sauber board of administrators because the official consultant of the Audi AG,” the assertion added.

Final week, it was introduced that Alessandro Alunnni Bravi would take up a senior management function underneath Seidl, which is able to see him tackle media duties in the course of the 2023 seasons.

Alunni Bravi who can be managing director of the Sauber Group that runs the Swiss-based group, has been given the official title of group consultant.

Sauber compete as Alfa Romeo in what’s successfully a title sponsorship with the Stellantis-owned model. That deal is because of finish after the 2023 season with the group because of race as Audi from 2026.

Audi confirmed in August they might be coming into Method 1 in 4 years as an influence unit provider and had been beforehand linked with a partnership with McLaren.

Fellow Volkswagen model Porsche, in the meantime, noticed a deal fall via with Crimson Bull however nonetheless retain an F1 curiosity.

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