Formula 1 coup perfect: Audi takes over Team Sauber completely

As of: March 8, 2024 6:03 p.m

From 2026 there will be a racing team from Upper Bavaria in Formula 1. Automobile manufacturer Audi is entering the premier class of motorsport – and, contrary to its original plans, is taking even more risks.

By BR24Sport, Daniela Olivares

It was already considered a sure thing, now it’s official: With the complete takeover of Formula 1 partner Sauber, Audi is eliminating the last doubts about its entry into the largest motorsport racing series in the world. The car manufacturer from Ingolstadt confirmed on Friday (March 8) its plans to take over 100 percent of the Sauber Group and thus go beyond its originally announced commitment.

Audi originally wanted to acquire a 75 percent stake in the Swiss Formula 1 racing team, but now the previous majority owner, including Tetra Pak heir Finn Rausing, has been completely eliminated. The current Sauber managing director Andreas Seidl will also take on this position with the Audi team in the future.

“Ambitious goals”: ​​AudiPrestige project becomes reality

The aim is to successfully start Formula 1 and strengthen the Audi brand internationally, as well as to enable an intensive exchange between the two divisions of motorsport and series vehicles.

In August 2022, the car manufacturer announced its billion-dollar entry into Formula 1 for the 2026 season. “We have ambitious goals,” Seidl was quoted as saying in the statement. The former McLaren team boss added that the takeover of Sauber will further accelerate the implementation of these plans.

Formula 1 engines are built in Neuburg

Audi is already building the new engine for its Formula 1 project in Neuburg an der Donau. The chassis comes from Hinwil (Switzerland) from the Sauber team, which is still competing in the racing series this season under the name Kick Sauber.

The focus is on the development of the so-called “power unit”. A “power unit” consists of various components, such as an internal combustion engine, an electric machine with control electronics and a high-voltage battery. These components are developed in Neuburg and then brought together. After starting Formula 1, the goal is to achieve victories in the foreseeable future, those responsible told BR last June.

Development Director Hoffmann becomes Formula 1 boss

Overall responsibility for Audi’s Formula 1 project will be the previous development director Oliver Hoffmann, who, along with former Audi boss Markus Duesmann, was the driving force for the expensive undertaking. Further development in the area of ​​e-mobility was also a priority under Duesmann’s leadership. Hoffmann becomes chairman of the Sauber Group’s board of directors. The new Audi boss Gernot Döllner will take over his previous position as head of development.

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Source: BR24Sport on the radio March 8, 2024 – 3:55 p.m