Audi has acquired a stake in the Sauber Formula 1 team ahead of plans to compete in the sport as both a designer and power unit supplier from 2026.
The purchase was announced Monday by Sauber, who described the deal as a minority stake. We could see Audi gradually increasing its lead share towards its entry in 2026 to gain more control over the team.
Sauber currently competes in F1 as Alfa Romeo, but the automaker announced last August that the agreement would end after the 2023 season. However, Alfa Romeo has not said if it is leaving F1 altogether.
Audi first announced plans to enter Formula 1 last August, and confirmed Sauber as its factory team two months later after Formula 1 laid out new sustainability measures from 2026 onwards. Sauber will be responsible for the development and production of the team’s Formula 1 car at its location in Hinwil, Switzerland. Sauber will also be responsible for planning and running race operations. Audi will be responsible for the drive unit. Sauber currently relies on Ferrari engines.
Porsche, a Volkswagen Group brand, is also interested in entering F1 with its own powerplant and possibly a factory team. Porsche has been in negotiations with Red Bull Racing, although talks ended last September with no deal brokered. Porsche has said it remains open to an F1 entry should the right opportunity present itself.
Cadillac also announced in January that it will attempt to form an F1 entry with Andretti Global, the parent company of Andretti Autosport. However, details about the entry, including the timeline, have not been disclosed, apart from the proposed team being based in the US with a support facility in the UK
There are now rumors that even Ford may be interested in becoming a partner of leading F1 team Red Bull Racing as the sport grows in popularity in the US