Audi confirm complete Sauber F1 takeover

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On the eve of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Audi has officially confirmed that it plans to complete its acquisition of the Sauber organisation ahead of its 2026 Formula 1 entry.

In August 2022, Audi announced its plans to take over the Sauber F1 team in 2026 when new technical regulations will take effect. However, with changes in Audi's management, rumours have started to circulate multiple times that the German manufacturer might call off its F1 commitment.

The Ingolstadt-based manufacturer has now confirmed its plans to take a 100 percent stake in the Sauber Group. Audi has announced that a corresponding agreement has been reached with the current majority shareholder, Islero Investments AG, which fully supports the change.

Oliver Hoffmann, currently heading the Technical Development division, will be made a General Representative by the Board of Management, and as a result will be responsible for implementing AUDI AG’s Formula 1 commitment and entry into the top level of motorsport. The newly created position will unite all three pillars of the Formula 1 program: the stake in the storied Swiss racing team, development of the power unit by the Audi Formula Racing GmbH at the Neuburg site, as well as the strategic steering and activation of the program by AUDI AG.

General representative Oliver Hoffman said: “I would like to thank the entire team at Technical Development for the great performance in recent years, and I am proud of the outstanding products resulting from our intensive work that we will bring to the streets in the coming months.

"Motorsport, particularly Formula 1, is my big passion. I am convinced that by bundling responsibilities and taking over 100 per cent of Sauber Group, we will further accelerate our preparations for the launch in 2026."

Hoffman added: "I am pleased we were able to secure the services of Andreas Seidl as Audi F1 Team CEO. He is exactly the right man for our ambitious plan. Thanks to his broad experience from leadership roles on the manufacturer and Formula 1 team side, he will make a significant contribution to Audi’s Formula 1 project.”

In connection with this, Oliver Hoffmann is stepping down as a Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. Audi CEO Gernot Döllner will take charge of the Technical Development division in addition to his existing responsibilities. He will continue the ongoing transformation of Technical Development. Besides shortening development times, the focus is mainly on more efficient structures and clear areas of responsibility in order to operationalize the prioritization of products and technologies as prescribed by the Audi Agenda.

In preparation of its entry into the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2026, Audi is filling another key role. As Audi F1 Team CEO, Andreas Seidl will be in charge of the implementation of the Audi F1 project as well as the Audi F1 Team. He will also be the face of the future Audi Formula 1 Team.

Born in Passau, Germany, Seidl began his motorsport career in BMW’s Formula 1 program; he was also Director of Race Operations during his time there. As Team Principal, Seidl celebrated multiple world championships and three overall victories at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. From 2019 to 2022, Seidl was Team Principal of the McLaren Formula 1 Team, before taking over as CEO of Sauber Group in 2023.

Seidl commented: “I thank Gernot Döllner and Oliver Hoffmann for their trust and am looking forward to leading Audi into Formula 1 together with a highly motivated team as CEO of the Audi F1 Team.

"We have a clear roadmap for how we want to become competitive in Hinwil as well as in Neuburg. We have ambitious goals. Realization of them is in progress and will be further accelerated through the complete takeover of Sauber by AUDI AG.”