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Audi Will Buy 100% of Sauber, Keep Andreas Seidl

the vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production model
Audi Will Buy 100% of Sauber, Keep Andreas SeidlAudi

Two years ago, Audi announced an ambitious plan to enter Formula 1 as a constructor and engine manufacturer. The original plan was to purchase 75 percent of the former Alfa Romeo team that recently re-branded as Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, but the brand clarified on Friday that it plans to take a 100 percent stake in Sauber.

That commitment means the team will not just be the subject of Audi's investment and partnership plans but will be Audi's alone. With questions of partnership no longer a problem, Audi has also confirmed its plans to move Oliver Hoffmann from a role on the firm's current board of management to a new position managing the company's takeover and implementation of the team. Andreas Seidl, a high-profile hire away from McLaren ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season, will be retained and his title will shift from CEO of Sauber to CEO of Audi F1.

The expanded commitment to the team comes after months of rumor that the Audi program would be canceled before the transaction was completed. Audi, which canceled its announced return to Le Mans in 2022 and shut down its Formula E team in 2021 before stepping out of sports car racing entirely with the end of the R8 GT3 program at the end of last year, has developed something of a reputation for not delivering on promises to go racing. That recent history, combined with a commitment for the 2026 racing season announced nearly four years in advance, led to extensive speculation even before Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reported on the possibility in October 2023.

With this deal, those rumors can be put to rest. Audi will be in Formula 1 in 2026, and it will do so with a team it owns completely.

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