Audi full throttle on F1 program

Audi have shrugged off rumors that they were getting cold feet about their F1 program and have now doubled down on their plan with 100% ownership sooner than later.

When Audi announced they would be joining F1 by purchasing 75% of the Sauber team a couple years ago, the initial excitement was good and the target date of 2026 seemed a logical choice. The odd thing was Audi’s trickle investment over time and no sign of it’s uniquely German footprint on the team has really been felt.

They did hire Andreas Seidl as CEO but apart from that, there is really no outward-facing sign of Audi’s involvement in the team as of yet. This begat rumors that maybe they were getting cold feet about the deal but there is a nice video over at the Race that explains where Audi is at and how they have now doubled down on their investment.

Originally wanting controlling ownership of 75%, now Audi is looking for 100% and they are accelerating that investment for good reason. Namely the cap ex money allowance they currently have as Sauber.

So this leaves us with Audi taking over control of Sauber sooner than planned and that always brings up the question of who will drive for them? While the video, rightfully, calls this a bit of a side-step or step backward from the likes of Mercedes, Aston Martin or Red Bull, I do think there is a pedigree of professionalism and determination from Audi’s racing programs that can’t be ignored.

Drivers like Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly all may view Audi as a step backward but I’m not entirely convinced it will be.

I don’t expect Audi to be racing for wins any time soon but I do think it will be a good program and one that may bear more fruit than Renault’s has in the last 4-5 years.

Anyway, check out the video here and let us know what you think.

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Grumpygrizz

I will believe Audi is in the sport when it’s the first race with the car branded as Audi and not a moment before.

Fabio

The driver line up for them will really depend on the shake-up at the end of this season.