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Alunni Bravi: Audi has strong commitment to F1

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Audi are strongly committed to Formula 1 but have kept a low profile because of future partner Sauber’s current relationship with Alfa Romeo, team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi said.

Audi last year took a minority stake in the Swiss-based Sauber Group, who are competing until the end of this season under the name of Stellantis-owned brand Alfa Romeo with Ferrari engines.

Sauber are due to become the Audi factory team from 2026, but reports in Germany have suggested the carmaker is reviewing its plans.

The driving force behind the deal was then-Audi boss Markus Duesmann, who was replaced at the beginning of September by Gernot Doellner.

“Audi has a strong commitment to Formula One, and of course together with Sauber,” Alunni Bravi told reporters at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

“This commitment comes from a decision not only of the board of Audi but also the advisory board of Audi and the Supervisory Board of Audi/Volkswagen. So it’s a group decision and the commitment is there.

“Why there is a lack of communication is simple. We are Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake,” he added.

“So until the end of the year, we have certain limitations in communicating about the team, about the future, about the involvement of Audi, and we fully respect Alfa Romeo for this and we don’t want to make any kind of announcement or more than what is strictly related to the race and the championship,” the Italian explained.

Alunni Bravi said Sauber were working hard on the structure of the team and recruiting strongly, with new appointments on a weekly basis. A key appointment was James Key returning from McLaren in September as technical director.

Audi is making its own F1 power unit at a facility in Neuburg an der Donau, near the carmaker’s headquarters at Ingolstadt.

“It’s not a matter of the involvement of Audi in financing the team or sustaining this development process,” said Alunni Bravi.

“There is a governance in place according to the different stages of the transaction that will be completed ahead of the 2026 season and so we are proceeding with the investment plan, with everything, in accordance with the governance that has been agreed,” he concluded. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)