Audi selects Sauber as a strategic partner for Formula 1
- The famous Swiss F1 team to become the Audi team as of 2026
- Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Technical Development Board for Audi AG: “I am very pleased to have such a competent and experienced partner for our Formula 1 project”
- Preparations for the development of the Audi power unit are on the right track
Audi has achieved the next significant milestone on its way to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The German automaker has chosen Sauber as its strategic partner for the project and is planning to acquire a stake in the Sauber Group. As part of the partnership, the Swiss Formula 1 racing team will participate as the Audi factory team from 2026, with a power unit developed by Audi for the global motorsport class.
Following the previous announcement of its participation in Formula 1 – at the end of August – the announcement of its strategic partner represents another important step for Audi in the Formula 1 project. With nearly thirty years of racing experience, Sauber is one of the most famous and well-established teams in Formula 1. While the power unit will be developed at the Audi Motorsport Competence Center in Neuburg an der Donau, Sauber will develop and build the race car at headquarters in Hinwil (Switzerland). In addition, Sauber will also be responsible for planning and operating the car during the races.
“We are very pleased to have such an experienced partner on board on this ambitious project,” explains Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Technical Development Board at Audi AG. “We know the Sauber Group with its state-of-the-art facilities and experience from previous collaborations and we are convinced that together we will form a strong team.” For example, Audi Sport already regularly used the high-tech wind tunnel of the Sauber group at Hinwil during the successful Le Mans era and during the development of the 1 Series Tourer for the DTM.
Shared vision and values
“Audi is the best possible partner for the Sauber Group,” said Finn Rausing, Sauber Holding Chairman. “Both companies share the same values and vision. We look forward to achieving our common goals through this strong and successful partnership.”
The power unit – consisting of an electric motor, battery pack, electronic systems and an internal combustion engine – is being developed at the specially built Audi Formula Racing GmbH plant in Neuburg an der Donau. More than 120 employees are now involved in the project. “Sauber is an ideal partner for the use of the Audi Power unit,” explains Adam Becker, general manager of the company. “We look forward to working with an experienced team, which has played a key role in Formula 1 over the past decades. Together we want to write the next new chapter of 2026.”
Newburgh factory expansion in full swing
Audi’s schedule until the first race of the 2026 season is ambitious. The expansion of the plant in Newburgh in terms of personnel, facilities and technical infrastructure should be largely completed by 2023. The first tests with the power unit based on the 2026 regulations are scheduled for a Formula 1 test car in 2025.
More than 1000 HP
With new regulations coming into effect from 2026, Formula 1 is taking a huge step forward in sustainability. This was also an important condition for Audi to participate in the championship. Engines will become more efficient than they are now, as the share of electric power will increase dramatically. From that moment on, the electric motor becomes as powerful as the combustion engine, which has a power of about 400 kW (544 hp). The highly efficient 1.6L turbocharged engines use sustainable CO22– Neutral synthetic fuel (according to EU standards). Formula 1 has also set itself the goal of reducing CO2 as a racing category by 20302-Be impartial.
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