Audi confirms its F1 partner and timeline
Sauber drops Alfa to become Audi works team
Audi has confirmed its return to Formula 1 starting in 2026 and its partner will be the Swiss team Sauber. Audi calls Sauber a strategic partner for the F1 project and says it will purchase a stake in the team as part of the deal.
The Sauber name might not be familiar to anyone who isn’t a serious Formula 1 fan, but the team has been racing in the top tier of car racing since 1993. Sauber worked with Mercedes-Benz in those early years and was the first F1 team sponsored by Red Bull before that company built its own entry.
Sauber has a long history of running as a factory-sponsored team, too. It operated as BMW Sauber from 2006 through 2009 and became Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team from 2018 onward.
“We are delighted to have gained such an experienced and competent partner for our ambitious Formula 1 project,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board for Technical Development at Audi. “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 Sport’s collaboration with the Sauber Group includes Sauber’s wind tunnel in Hinwil, Switzerland. Audi used the tunnel to help develop it’s dominating Le Mans racers and its DTM touring cars.
Audi will be ready to race in 2026, getting a team in place next year and starting testing in 2025. The move corresponds with a change in the F1 powertrain regulations for 2026 that will increase the electric portion of the horsepower of the cars and make the 1.6L turbocharged engines run on CO2-neutral synthetic fuels.
Alfa Romeo’s sponsorship of the Sauber team will stop at the end of next season. The team will continue to use Ferrari power units until the Audi driveline is ready in 2026.