Now that the decision has been made at Audi to enter Formula 1 from 2026, things are being handled aggressively. When it was announced on Friday ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, it was not clear who Audi would take part in its F1 project, but it is now generally expected that Audi will buy Sauber for the 2026 season. When new technical regulations come into effect. Audi has reportedly added 120 employees to its engineering department and is in talks with former Formula 1 driver Cristiano da Mata to lead their team.
Not a motor supplier but an owner
Initial suggestions were that the two German car giants (Porsche and Audi) were planning to jointly build a powertrain, which they would then supply to Red Bull and McLaren. Since then, Porsche has been in talks with Red Bull, but that ultimately led to nothing. It is clear that Audi intends to buy a team and run it as their own. At first it appeared to be McLaren, but false reports last year about a successful acquisition damaged that relationship and it appears that Audi has since turned its attention to Sauber. The Swiss F1 manufacturer has been working with Alfa Romeo since 2018, but they have no specific input into the team, they are simply a business partner.
to move home?
The Sauber operation has been operated for years from Hinwil, just outside of Zurich, but by acquiring Audi they could move the operation from Switzerland to Germany, at Audi’s main base in the suburbs of Ingolstadt. Sauber would then have a different status, that is, as a factory team, which would make its own engines and chassis. There are even reports that they are preparing to buy Sauber shares by 2023.
The facilities needed for that are already under construction, according to a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The plan is to buy Sauber,” reporter Andrea Cremonese said in a message to Formula 1 News. Audi has clear ideas and is undertaking a series of investments, with new buildings to be added to the headquarters in Newburgh in the coming months. “Now that the deal is completed, the German manufacturer can also operate freely in the technical market to grow a division that currently has 120 employees.”
Cristiano da Mata, 2002 Kart Neumann Haas Racing (Image Source: Toyota)
Everything is in your own direction
Audi has the resources, they have the support, but what they need now is a captain to steer the ship, and they are said to have already chosen one. As RaceXpress reported yesterday, it is Cristiano da Mata who should fill the position. He is already an Audi employee and certainly no stranger to the racing world. He raced for Toyota in 2003 and 2004, after winning the IndyCar Championship with Neumann/Haas in 2002. The Brazilian has built impressive racing pedigree and could be the man Marcus Dussmann looks up to as a Formula One project leader. “Currently, no team president has been appointed by Audi, but one of the candidates is Cristiano da Mata,” Cremonese said, and continued, “Audi is not only interested in being a supplier of power units, it wants to influence team members. Take choices. Things are up to you. Negotiations are underway and once the agreement is in place, the management framework is likely to change.”
Previous posts about Audi, Porsche or VAG Group to Formula 1:
September 15, 2022: Cristiano da Mata to lead the Audi F1 project: ‘The plan is now to buy Sauber’
August 27, 2022: Special – Audi will enter Formula 1 from 2026, but who will be the partner in the prestigious project?
May 17 2022: Special – F1 always plays ‘hard to get’ but Andretti Audi F1 Team is a serious option + VIDEO
August 4, 2022: rumors – Volkswagen Group presents in full force in Formula 1: Porsche with Red Bull, Audi with Alfa Touri as Lamborghini
March 31, 2022: BREAK – Will Volkswagen give the green light to Formula 1 with Audi and Porsche next week?
October 25, 2021: Rumor: Bild allegations: Audi for Williams, Porsche to McLaren »
June 29, 2021: important meeting in Spielberg on engine regulations 2025; Audi and Porsche heads out there!
June 1, 2021: Special – Red Bull gives you wings? Christian Horner on engine plans for 2022 + photos
May 4, 2021: Helmut Marko admits Mercedes’ engine situation is “tense”. Christian Horner: “Make Your Own Business”
March 20, 2021: Red Bull is on the right track with its own engine project, but has also held talks with Volkswagen
March 9, 2021: The Red-Bull team remained silent about the future with VAG Group
March 7, 2021: Special – Porsche is back in Formula 1 after nearly 65 years … + PHOTOS
March 7, 2021: VAG Groep considers move to Formula 1; Will it be an Audi, a Porsche or not…
March 4, 2021: Can Max Verstappen still get Honda back in Red Bull? They made a clear promise that they…
February 8, 2021: Audi considers switching to Formula 1 with Red Bull
Are you already a subscriber to our RaceXpress Youtube channel? Do you want to enjoy the great racing action of Formula 1, motorsports and cars or karting more? Subscribe to RaceXpress’s YouTube channel!