Audi complete takeover of Sauber F1 team

Audi are due to join the Formula 1 grid as of the 2026 season


Audi, the German automotive giant known for its engineering prowess and success in various motorsport disciplines, including the World Endurance Championship and the Dakar Rally, has now set its sights on Formula 1. By taking over the Sauber F1 team, Audi has made a clear statement about its ambition and dedication to achieving success in the highest class of single-seater auto racing.

The choice of Sauber as the entry point into Formula 1 is strategic and well-considered. Sauber, with its rich history in the sport and reputation for developing talented drivers and innovative technologies, provides a solid foundation for Audi‘s ambitions. 

Moreover, Sauber‘s established infrastructure and experience in F1 competition make it an ideal partner for Audi as it seeks to develop a competitive edge in the new era of Formula 1, which is increasingly focused on sustainability and technological innovation.

Oliver Hoffmann, who is head of Audi’s Technical Department, will move to a position of General Representative, with Andreas Seidl becoming CEO.

“Motorsport, particularly Formula 1, is my big passion,” Hoffmann told the press. “I am convinced that by bundling responsibilities and taking over 100 percent of Sauber Group, we will further accelerate our preparations for the launch in 2026.

Audi Chief Development Officer, Oliver Hoffmann during a press conference in 2022 German manufacturer Audi announce they will join the Formula 1 World Championship from the 2026 season as a power unit supplier | REUTERS/Johanna Geron
Audi Chief Development Officer, Oliver Hoffmann during a press conference in 2022 German manufacturer Audi announce they will join the Formula 1 World Championship from the 2026 season as a power unit supplier | REUTERS/Johanna Geron

“I am pleased we were able to secure the services of Andreas Seidl as Audi F1 Team CEO. He is exactly the right man for our ambitious plan. 

“Thanks to his broad experience from leadership roles on the manufacturer and Formula 1 team side, he will make a significant contribution to Audi’s Formula 1 project.”

Audi’s entry into Formula 1 is not just significant for the Sauber team but for the sport as a whole. It demonstrates the growing appeal of Formula 1 to major car manufacturers as a platform for showcasing technology and engaging with a global audience. 

Audi‘s commitment to F1 is expected to spur further innovation, especially in areas such as hybrid technology and sustainable fuels, aligning with the sport’s goals of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“[I] am looking forward to leading Audi into Formula 1 together with a highly motivated team as CEO of the Audi F1 Team,” Seidl commented.  “We have a clear roadmap for how we want to become competitive in Hinwil as well as in Neuburg [Audi’s F1 Power Unit facility].

“We have ambitious goals. Realisation of them is in progress and will be further accelerated through the complete takeover of Sauber by AUDI AG.”

Showcar with Audi F1 launch livery

Future Prospects

With the backing of Audi, the Sauber team is expected to undergo significant transformations, including access to greater resources, advanced technologies, and a network of expertise that spans Audi‘s vast motorsport heritage. This partnership is poised to elevate the team’s performance and competitiveness in the championship.

“The entry into Formula 1 is not only the pinnacle of Audi’s very successful history in motorsport, but also as big a sporting challenge as it is a financial commitment,” Manfred Doss, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Audi said.

“Through the bundling of Oliver Hoffmann’s responsibilities and the complete takeover of the Sauber Group, we are accelerating our preparations for the 2026 season.”

As the team prepares for its debut under the Audi banner, there is a palpable sense of anticipation and excitement about what this collaboration will bring to Formula 1. The combination of Audi‘s technological capabilities and Sauber‘s racing pedigree has the potential to disrupt the established order and introduce a new powerhouse into the sport.

The complete takeover of the Sauber F1 team by Audi marks the beginning of a new chapter for both entities. It signifies Audi’s serious intentions in Formula 1 and its commitment to achieving success. 

John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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