Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur has highlighted the roles Sauber and Audi will take for the 2026 F1 season. Audi announced their entry in Formula 1 as an engine supplier earlier this season. Later it was revealed that Audi would join forces with Sauber. Audi will develop the engine at their home base in Neuburg, Germany, while Sauber will focus on the chassis development and team operation at their headquarters in Hinwil, Switzerland.
Audi is looking for a new challenge as it announces entry into F1 world
Audi has been a significant player in the world of motorsport. It has won the 24 hours Le Mans race 13 times, the second most behind Porsche. They have also won championships in other motorsports categories, from Rallying to the GT series. Suffice it to say they are well familiar with the culture of winning a title. Formula 1, however, is a very different beast.
Many previous motorsports giants have entered the world of Formula 1 but didn’t have much to show in terms of success. Some names which come into mind very quickly are BMW, which was at one point also a partner of the Sauber F1 team. Toyota is another name that came into the sport in 2002 and left after the 2009 season without winning any race in the seven seasons of Formula 1.
Some other notable names which left F1
Porsche and Red Bull were poised to announce their partnership in Formula 1, but that deal went sour and didn’t materialize into anything. Honda is another team that had some moderate success but couldn’t win any championship as a team.
After 2008 Honda departed from the sport as a constructor, selling the team to Ross Brawn, who rebranded it as Brawn GP. The team went on to win the 2009 drivers and constructors title. Brawn later sold the team to Mercedes. The guys responsible for making decisions at the Honda headquarters would certainly have rued this missed opportunity. However, Honda saw great success as an engine supplier.
Audi certainly knows the challenges they will face ahead. They have the resources and the expertise to meet the mighty upcoming test of Formula 1. But what exactly would their role be? Speaking to the media outlets in Mexico, Alfa Romeo’s team boss, which will leave the Sauber branding after 2023, Frederic Vasseur laid out the future road map for Sauber and Audi.
Vasseur highlights the roles of Audi and Sauber
“Firstly, we will split operations ultimately. They will be in charge of the engine in Neuburg, and the team will take care of the chassis and the operation on track from Hinwil; that is clear. They will take some shares in the company in the future, but we didn’t disclose the details of this, and I won’t do it today. So sorry, Dieter. But I think it’s an excellent way to operate the team.”
“We looked at what was working in the past on the other teams, and the most important for me is not just the setup in terms of shares or who is managing who. It’s a matter of mindset and to be able to build up in terms of strategy to be one single team and not to have teams fighting each other.”
“We know we have three years to build up something,” the Alfa Romeo team boss pointed out. “We know that we have three years to increase the budget and to be at the cost cap, to work with a lot to improve the facilities and so and I think honestly that three years is not too much.”
“It’s the perfect trend. And I think it was the good timing also for Audi with the new regulation on the engine side in ‘26, and it was the perfect fit,” added Vasseur.