Audi, Sauber May Announce F1 Deal Any Day Now: Report

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A throwback to the days of Audi’s sports car racing dominance, as it looks to chase a bigger prize in Formula 1.

A throwback to the times of Audi’s sports activities automotive racing dominance, because it appears to be like to chase an even bigger prize in Formulation 1.
Picture: Ker Robertson/Allsport (Getty Photographs)

Everybody anticipated Volkswagen’s two-pronged invasion of Formulation 1 — Porsche by the use of Pink Bull, and Audi through Sauber — to be cleared and publicly introduced by now. Ratification of the 2026 energy unit rules was supposed to be the final hurdle standing in Porsche’s way. These guidelines had been authorized on August 16 and but right here we’re, every week later, with no noise on that entrance. We’ve identified even much less about what’s occurring with Audi, although a brand new report might make clear the place Ingolstadt’s grand prix debut stands.

The upcoming Belgian Grand Prix this weekend may set the stage for an announcement, per Motorsport.com. After all, we’ve heard such issues so many occasions earlier than, so maybe it’s greatest to not put all of your religion right into a joint press launch from Audi and Sauber come Friday. But when it does occur, hey — at the least you had been ready.

The German luxurious automaker is reportedly paying the Swiss motorsport agency extra for a smaller stake in comparison with Michael Andretti’s failed bid, so you’ll be able to think about why Sauber could be extra smitten by its chosen suitor. No disrespect to Andretti, however as influential a determine as he’s, he doesn’t fairly end proper behind Toyota within the energy rankings of individuals and firms.

Beneath the supposed settlement, chassis will proceed to be inbuilt Switzerland, whereas Audi will assume engine improvement in Germany. The 2 events will solely proceed to work collectively extra intently over a number of years, and there’s already suggestion of Sauber being subsumed finally as an Audi manufacturing unit operation. Decelerate, you two! From Motorsport.com:

There’s additionally the promise to additional develop Sauber as a manufacturing unit crew, similar to how the Sauber-BMW partnership labored between 2006 and 2009.

It’s attention-grabbing to notice that present Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, who has pushed the model’s F1 entry, was head of improvement on the BMW-Sauber crew between 2007 and 2009 and nonetheless is aware of the Hinwil operation from again then.

Motorsport.com understands that the plan consists of persevering with to construct the chassis in Hinwil, the place considered one of F1’s most trendy wind tunnels remains to be positioned.

The powertrain is to be created at Audi’s website in Neuburg and thus developed and produced on German soil.

That is in contrast to VW Group sister firm Porsche, which can develop massive elements of its engine at Pink Bull’s Milton Keynes powertrains division.

And but, those reports of Audi and/or BMW snapping up McLaren from last year still linger. Audi’s provide for McLaren’s highway automotive enterprise didn’t fulfill the British automaker, however Audi saved pursuing a partnership on the F1 facet of issues till it couldn’t anymore:

Audi had initially negotiated with McLaren a few takeover of crew shares, having been initially put in contact with the crew and its homeowners via former McLaren F1 racer Gerhard Berger.

“I established the contact with McLaren,” mentioned the DTM boss. “McLaren would have been a candidate as a associate for Audi in Formulation 1.”

However the talks between McLaren’s homeowners, the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, and Audi in the end got here to nothing. In the long run, Sauber emerged as the popular candidate following an analysis of Aston Martin and Williams.

That deal, too, was within the bag; I was convinced of it. Immediately we’re listening to comparable rumblings about Audi and Sauber. It’s good to know the place the temperature stands on these things each few weeks, however let’s all conform to consider it after we see it.

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