Audi expected to make major F1 2026 announcement during Saudi Arabian GP

Thomas Maher
Audi F1 car concept reveal, 2022 Belgian Grand Prix.

Audi is expected to announce a full Sauber takeover ahead of F1 entry in 2026.

A major announcement is expected to be made by Audi this weekend as the manufacturer’s entry into F1 looms ever closer.

Audi is set to enter Formula 1 as a manufacturer in 2026, taking over the Sauber entry that currently operates the Stake F1 team. The German marque purchased a minority stake in Sauber in January 2023, with a major announcement about their ownership expected shortly.

Audi expected to confirm full takeover of Sauber Motorsport

The original plan was to increase ownership of Sauber from 25 percent to 75 percent in total, with 25 percent being bought this year to add to last year’s purchase, before a final 25 percent being acquired in 2025 ahead of entry in ’26.

But, under new CEO Gernot Dollner, a recent report in Bloomberg suggested the plan had evolved to purchase Sauber Motorsport outright, rather than just being a majority shareholder. understands this to be accurate and that a full, 100 percent takeover of Sauber has been completed this week, with confirmation of Audi’s purchase of Sauber expected during the Saudi Arabian GP weekend – an announcement is likely to be made on Friday.

Oliver Hoffmann is also expected to be relieved of his current duties on Audi’s board of management for technology in order to head up the burgeoning F1 team, with the Hinwil-based squad becoming a full factory Audi entry – with both chassis and power unit developed by the German manufacturer.

The power unit, which is being developed from Audi’s Neuburg facility, is understood to already be on the test bench ahead of 2026.

Audi personnel are also understood to have been appointed to the boards of Sauber Motorsport and Sauber Technologies. reached out to Sauber for comment, who did not confirm nor deny the possibility of a full Audi takeover: “We don’t comment on speculation and we don’t offer comments on the shareholder structure of the team.”

A spokesperson for Audi also stated that the manufacturer “would not comment on speculation”. recommends

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If confirmed, Audi’s takeover of Sauber will put to an end months of speculation that the German marque’s entry into F1 is in question, with speculation having abounded in recent months that Dollner was set to pull the plug on the Audi F1 project.

However, at the end of November, Dollner reassured Audi AG management that nothing about the entry plans has changed, with a report in Manager Magazin quoting Dollner as explaining how valuable the entry into F1 with Sauber is for Audi.

Jürgen Rittersberger, Audi AG’s Board Member for Finance, Legal Affairs and IT, stated: “We have a clear decision-making position on the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board. We are sticking to our timetable for entry in 2026. There is no other decision.”

Audi’s arrival as a team and power unit manufacturer will coincide with a major regulations change, with new technical rules completely tearing up the formbook as F1 moves towards increased electrical power output and a switch to fully sustainable synthetic fuels.

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