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Audi commitment to F1 is unwavering, insists Sauber

Audi’s commitment to Formula 1 remains unwavering despite its low-key preparations helping fuel speculation about its future, Sauber chiefs have insisted.

Showcar with Audi F1 launch livery

Showcar with Audi F1 launch livery

Audi

The German manufacturer announced last year that it had agreed to become a "strategic partner" of the Sauber outfit for its official entry as a manufacturer squad in 2026, while Sauber earlier this year confirmed an undisclosed stake had been bought by Audi.

Since then however, Audi has stayed out of the public spotlight and not revealed much about its progress, an approach that has led to some question its commitment. 

Earlier this year there was speculation that the manufacturer was behind in development with its power unit, while more recently there was a report in the German press that it was even considering backing out of its plans to enter F1.

Such talk has been strongly denied by current Alfa Romeo team principal Alessandro Alunni Bravi, who explained that there was good reason for Audi’s low-key approach.

“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,” he said.

“So, it's a group decision and the commitment is there. 

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“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.

“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.”

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative, Alfa Romeo F1 Team

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative, Alfa Romeo F1 Team

While Audi’s full takeover of Sauber is being planned in stages, and will not be complete until 2026, Bravi has denied that there is any state of flux in the outfit in terms of its investment plans prior to the German company being fully in charge.

“We are working hard to develop the structure of the team,” he said.

“We have a strong recruitment plan in place. James Key [new technical director] is one, but we have on a weekly basis new appointments.

“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.

“We are proceeding with the investment plan, with everything, in accordance with the governance that has been agreed.”

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