AUGUST 24, 2022
Audi set to confirm F1 plans at Belgian GP
Spa-Francorchamps this weekend could be the scene of Audi's confirmation that the VW-owned German luxury carmaker is indeed entering Formula 1 in 2026.
Sources report that Audi looks likely to finally announce that it is taking over Swiss-based Sauber with a majority buyout of the team currently known as Alfa Romeo.
It is believed the chassis will continue to be developed at Hinwil, with the Audi engine then produced on German soil.
Former FIA safety director Adam Baker, an Australian, is tipped to be a leading Audi official for the Formula 1 project.
F1 legend Gerhard Berger, however, denied that he played an instrumental role in guiding the negotiations between Audi and Sauber.
"I don't have a Formula 1 consultancy contract with Audi," the former BMW motorsport director and current DTM series boss told motorsport-total.com.
"I have no close relationship with Sauber and very little contact. I was not involved in any talks between Sauber and Audi," Berger insisted.
However, he did admit that he introduced McLaren to the German marque, although those talks did not result in a deal.
After the expected Audi announcement at the Belgian GP, Porsche is tipped to follow with speculation of a 50 percent buyout of Red Bull Racing.
The delay of the Volkswagen-owned brands in confirming their respective F1 entries is due in large part to the resistance of existing engine makers including Mercedes and Ferrari to the 2026 engine rules.
Those rules have now finally been confirmed.
"We're not scared," Ferrari's Mattia Binotto told Auto Motor und Sport when asked about the resistance to Porsche and Audi entering F1.
"But Ferrari has been there from the start. I think we know what's good for the future of Formula 1. The newcomers are welcome, but they must not be more relevant than Ferrari."