Alfa Romeo F1 boss explains radio silence on Audi takeover

Alfa Romeo stop their title sponsorship of Sauber at the end of 2023, before Audi take over for the 2026 F1 season.

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Alfa Romeo team principal Alessandro Alunni Bravi re-affirmed Audi‘s commitment to their takeover of the Formula 1 team for 2026, after rumours surfaced that the Volkswagen-owned automotive giants are having second thoughts about the move.

The team reverts to Sauber for 2024 with Alfa Romeo instead partnering with Haas, and will run for two seasons with that branding before Audi takes the helm for F1‘s next big regulations revamp in 2026.

However, there’s been precious little noise coming out of Audi about the takeover leading to speculation of cold feet, and Alunni Bravi was asked for an update at the 2023 Brazilian GP.

“Thank you, because it allows me to clarify a bit all these rumours that were out. Audi has a strong commitment to Formula 1 and of course together with Sauber,” Alunni Bravi told the media.

“This commitment not only comes from the Audi board but also the advisory board of Audi and the Supervisory Board of AudiVW. So it’s a group decision and the commitment is there.

“Why there is a lack of communication is simple, we are Alfa Romeo F1 team so until the end of the year we have certain limitations in communicating about the team, about the future about the involvement of Audi and we fully respect Alfa Romeo for this.

“And we don’t want to make any kind of announcement for more than what is strictly related to the race and the championship.”

Bravi praises Sauber’s ‘strong recruitment plan’

Former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl | Twitter @McLarenF1

Audi caused a stir at the start of the 2023 season by luring Andreas Seidl away from McLaren to oversee their project, which sparked rumours that Lando Norris could join as the team’s marquee driver for 2026.

That talk has melted away as McLaren have enjoyed such a strong second half of the season including seven podiums for Norris, but Sauber announced another ex-Woking arrival in September in the form of technical director James Key.

“The commitment is there and we’re working hard to develop the structure of the team,” Alunni Bravi added. “We have a strong record recruitment plan in place. James Key is one but you know we have new appointments on a weekly basis.

“And it’s not a matter of the involvement of Audi in financing the team or sustaining this development process, we have two owners, two shareholders.

“There’s governance in place according to the different stages of the transaction that will be completed ahead of the 2026 season and so we are proceeding with that investment plan with everything in accordance with the governance that has been agreed.”

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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