Audi lambasted: Everything that could prevent Formula 1 has now been flattened

Michelle Foster
Audi F1 presentation with the rings on the mock up nose. Belgium August 2022

Audi F1 presentation with the rings on the mock up nose. Belgium August 2022

Calling time on their factory involvement in GT3 as well as other racing programmes, Audi have been slammed by DTM team boss Ernst Moser for putting Formula 1 over and above everything else.

Audi announced on Monday that they will not provide factory support to any customer teams across GT3 racing from next year onwards while their pool of 14 works drivers will be dropped come the end of the season.

The decision came as Audi prepares to enter Formula 1 with the German manufacturer having purchased a stake in the Sauber team, a stake that will increase every year until they take over the Hinwil-based outfi in 2026.

Audi slammed by team bosses

Audi’s decision to drop other racing series, led by out-going Audi boss Markus Duesmann, has been slated by DTM’s Phoenix team boss Moser with his team having been an Audi factory team in the past.

“Audi Sport Customer Racing was the flagship of Audi Sport – and Vorsprung durch Technik,” Moser told Motorsport-Total.com.

“For me, this is also a personal issue for certain people in the upper decision-making team.

“Before he leaves, he’s done everything so that the Formula 1 commitment has to be implemented. The people who are affected don’t deserve to let such a structure die.”

Adding that he does not know why anyone “wants to do Formula 1 and nothing else at all”, Moser says: “It could have continued with a small budget, because the customers and their partners pay for almost everything themselves.

“But if this little plant continues to grow, it could possibly be dangerous for the Formula 1 project. Therefore, it will no longer be watered and dried out.”

“That’s my impression: Everything that could possibly prevent the Formula 1 project is now being flattened.”

He added: “They could perhaps have built something new with this department but if it’s no longer there, that’s no longer possible.”

Until the F1 programme comes into being in 2026, Audi’s only factory involvement will be in the Dakar Rally.

Even that, though, could be on the line.

“When Markus Duesmann started, he had decided to get out of the Class 1 DTM,” WRT team boss Vincent Vosse said. “That was the first step.

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“But he also decided very quickly to stop motorsport in general and to focus all efforts on Formula 1.

“If they win in Formula 1, then everyone will very quickly forget what happened. But I have my doubt.

“It’s a joke. Formula 1 has nothing to do with customer sport. The costs are not high and they have been happy to use that for the last 13 years.

“All of this makes me sad for the people who built the name Audi Sport – Dr. Ullrich, Dieter Gass, Romolo Liebchen, Chris Reinke, Siegfried Krause.

“They all established the Audi Sport name and have achieved so much. This name and this reputation – and what they have achieved – was destroyed in just a few months. That’s a shame.”

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