NOVEMBER 5, 2023

Sauber denies Audi doing F1 decision U-turn

Sauber has finally issued a clear denial of swirling rumours suggesting Audi is about to perform a U-turn on its decision to enter Formula 1.

Valtteri Bottas, Brazilian GP 2023
© Alfa Romeo

The VW-owned German carmaker has already bought 25 percent of the Swiss team, with a further 50 percent share set to also change hands by the time a works Audi power unit is ready to race in 2026.

But since Audi made the decision mid last year and today, there has been a change of CEO - and now it's suggested the Audi board may be looking for a way to rewind its F1 ambitions.

Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi, however, finally issued a denial at Interlagos.

Thankyou for this question, because it allows me to clarify a bit all these rumours that went around, he said.

Audi has a strong commitment to Formula 1, of course together with Sauber.It's a group decision and the commitment is there."

There is no doubt, however, that since the rumours began to swirl several weeks ago, denials from Sauber, Audi and Volkswagen have been lacking or half-hearted.

Audi, in particular, has been staying particularly quiet about its entire 2026 F1 project.

Why there is this lack of communication is simple, Bravi insists. "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.

But the commitment, as I said, is there.

Alunni Bravi said Sauber CEO Andreas Seidl is working hard on the team structure back at Hinwil, new staff are being hired, and James Key has been signed up to lead the technical department.

And it's not a matter of, you know, the involvement of Audi in financing the team or sustaining this development process, he added.

We have two owners, there is a governance in place according to the different stages of the transaction that will be completed ahead of 2026, so we are proceeding with the investment plan - with everything - in accordance with the governance that has been agreed.