Audi F1 have been told they will need a complete reset if they have any hope of turning the Sauber team into a championship contender.
The German manufacturer is two and a half years away from entering the sport for the first time but already work is underway in preparation for their arrival.
Audi are working on their power unit at their base in Neuburg, Germany, but will also have one eye on the Sauber operation in Hinwil, Switzerland.
Audi F1 warned about middle-table mediocrity
A brand like Audi will not be entering F1 just to take part but will have title aspirations at some point down the line. While that is unlikely to happen in the near future, Audi have been warned there is work to do before they can get to that point.
F1 business expert Mark Gallaagher suggested Alfa Romeo/Sauber are a team that is rooted in midfield and accepts it.
“I don’t want to break any confidences with what I’m about to say but I’ve had a very close insight into the issues that Alfa Romeo/Sauber face,” Gallagher told the GP Racing podcast. “It’s a team that is rooted in accepting its midfield position and doesn’t, in many ways, know how to get out of that.
“The ambition isn’t even there to get out of that and the structure of the organisation isn’t a first-class structure, therefore, the performance of the organisation isn’t first class.
“So a team like Audi will need to completely reset that organisation in order to deliver their success in Formula 1.”
Earlier in the podcast, Gallagher spoke of the problems facing Renault and CEO Luca de Meo and went on to suggest that a similar fate could be in store for Audi.
“Everything that we talked about in relation to Renault and De Meo and Enstone, we will be having exactly the same conversation about Ingolstadt and Hinwil and Audi in Formula 1 in five years’ time,” he said.
“We’ll be in the 2028 season and Audi will have been in Formula 1 for two years and they will not have been achieving anything and the guys at the Volkswagen Audi group will be banging the table saying ‘What do we have to do? Who do we need to get in? What’s the magic bullet?'”