audi f1 2026-001

Audi plan “a big bang in 2026” for F1 entry with Sauber

audi f1 2026-001

Audi are looking to enter Formula 1 with a bang in 2026, hence the lack of hype ahead of their foray with Sauber, the latter will ditch the Alfa Romeo title sponsorship and renamed for the 2024 Formula 1 season.

What follows the Alfa Romeo partnership, is a two-year stint marking time before Audi break cover for the 2026 F1 season, when the serious PR ‘noise’ will begin. However, this did not stop rumours wafting through the F1 world that Audi were dithering.

Unfounded it turns out to be, according to Sauber Group MD Alessandro Alunni Bravi who shed light on the Audi partnership situation, with some interesting revelations in recent interviews he has given to F1 reporters, including when the name of the F1 team for 2024 and 2025 will be revealed.

Asked if Audi branding would appear in the interim F1 seasons until 2026, Bravi replied: “No. Audi will enter in 2026. Commercially speaking, it is important to have a big bang in 2026, not to dilute the Audi involvement with the team. So, we will continue as Sauber, based on the heritage of the group.”

As for the two years ahead of the Audi ‘takeover’ in 2026, Bravi revealed: “We already planned the next step. And of course, we signed that title partner already at the beginning of 2022 for the next two seasons.

“The FIA will publish the entry list of 2024 around the 10th of December, and we will also communicate at that time, not before, who will be the team name for the next two seasons and the title partners for our team.

Bravi: We have everything clear for the next two seasons.

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“I want to reiterate they are not two transition years,” insisted Bravi. “They are two years that are part of a long-term project that needs to bring the team to the next level,” added Bravi.

Earlier this year, rumours emerged suggesting Audi were getting cold feet regarding their F1 commitment with Sauber, which Bravi clarified to media last month: “Audi has a strong commitment to Formula 1, and of course together with Sauber.

“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.

“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 commitment, as I said, is there. We are working hard to develop the structure of the team. We have a strong recruitment plan in place. James Key is one, but we have weekly new appointments. And it’s not a matter of, the involvement of Audi in financing the team or sustaining this development process.

“We have two owners, you know, two shareholders, 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,” explained Bravi.

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