It’s all very well planning for the future, but with serious hostilities in various parts of the world, climate change and other uncertainties — it’s hard to get excited about a new team entering Formula 1 years from now.
However, latest from pitlane is that Audi has reached an agreement with Sauber to make the Swiss Formula 1 operation its works team from 2026.
Ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, Audi said Sauber – currently running under the Alfa Romeo banner – will become its strategic partner for Formula 1 and that it plans to acquire a stake in the Sauber Group.
Audi will build the power unit at its Neuberg base and already has 120 people working on the project, while Sauber will build the race car at its headquarters in Switzerland.
Sauber will also plan and execute the race operations.
“We already know the Sauber Group with its state-of-the-art facility and experienced team from previous collaborations and are convinced that together we will form a strong team,” Audi’s Oliver Hoffmann said.
Sauber chairman Finn Rausing responded with “Audi is the best strategic partner for the Sauber Group. We share values and a vision, and we look forward to achieving our common goals.”
Sauber Motorsport team principal Fred Vasseur said: “The partnership between Audi AG and Sauber Motorsport is a key step for our team as we continue to make progress towards the front of the grid.
“To become Audi’s official works team is not only an honour and a great responsibility: it’s the best option for the future and we are fully confident we can help Audi achieve the objectives they have set for their journey in Formula 1.”
At present, the Sauber cars run with Alfa Romeo branding.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1 said the combination of Audi and Sauber was a very exciting prospect for the sport.
“We look forward to seeing their progress over the coming years and the car on the grid for the team’s first race.”
Ahead of Audi’s arrival, Alfa Romeo will end its title sponsorship of Sauber at the end of the 2023 campaign.
The Swiss team will continue to use Ferrari power units through to the end of 2025, before taking on Audi power for the following campaign.
Sounds good and it’s something for all Formula 1 fans to look forward to, but it all depends on what Mr Putin does next, whether Mr Trump will be back in the saddle and all the other uncertainties of our time.