Multiple teams would discuss Audi partnership

Jon Wilde
Guenther Steiner, Jost Capito and Mike Krack at a press conference. Imola April 2022.

Three F1 bosses have all confirmed they would be happy if their team entered into discussions with Audi over an engine supply.

Audi look set to become involved in Formula 1 from 2026 along with Porsche, who are also part of the Volkswagen Group, as that is when the next generation of power units arrives.

While Porsche are being strongly linked to a collaboration with Red Bull, the options for Audi are thought to be more varied and several teams have been connected – as an engine customer or even the subject of a potential takeover.

In terms of the latter, there has been talk regarding McLaren – flatly denied when those rumours first emerged – and Sauber, who operate the Alfa Romeo team and were nearly bought out by Andretti Autosport last autumn.

It was even suggested recently by former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher that Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll may even have already entered talks to sell up to Audi.

Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin ahead of a Williams. Melbourne April 2022.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack obviously did not mention anything like that when asked about Audi at an Emilia Romagna Grand Prix press conference, but was highly enthusiastic about a potential link-up.

“I think for any team who has not a manufacturer on his side it’s super-appealing to have this possibility,” said Krack, whose team are provided with engines by Mercedes and collected their first five points of the season at Imola.

“So I think we would be lying if we say we are not interested in something like that. So I would be very interested to talk.”

Williams were overtaken by Aston Martin and dropped to the bottom of the Constructors’ table due to that double points finish by Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll in Italy.

The Grove-based squad, also a Mercedes customer, are another who could be in line for a partnership with Audi.

Their team principal Jost Capito said: “Yeah, I think that’s the same for us and I don’t think the board decided that they go, they decided they can continue to look into it and this is a different thing, two different outcomes.”

 

Haas’ Guenther Steiner is in a different position to the two counterparts whom he sat alongside, having an affiliation with Ferrari, but he too refused to rule out working with Audi.

“Obviously, as Mike said, who would not speak with them? But we didn’t have any talks,” said the 57-year-old Italian.

 

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