Sauber has confirmed that Audi has begun to acquire a stake in the organisation ahead of its entry into F1 in 2026.
At the time it stated it would become a “strategic partner” with Sauber Group, a process which has now commenced.
“The Sauber Group is pleased to announce that, as per the plans outlined in October last year, Audi acquired a minority stake in the Sauber Group in January 2023,” a statement from the Swiss organisation confirmed.
“This is an important milestone on the way to Audi's entry in Formula 1, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group will be the German brand's strategic partner.”
Audi's entry into Formula 1 had long been rumoured with Sauber the logical partner for such a venture.
Sauber joined the F1 grid in 1993, bringing with it Mercedes-Benz for the first time since the 1950s, before becoming BMW's factory team in the mid-2000s. Currently, a commercial deal sees the team branded as Alfa Romeo.
The move sees the German rekindle a relationship with the Volkswagen Audi Group – he headed Porsche's World Endurance Championship programme which claimed both the world title and Le Mans wins.
Last week, it was announced Alessandro Alunni Bravi would take on the role of ‘Team Representative', alongside his duties as Managing Director of Sauber Group.
The role was vacant following Fred Vasseur's departure to Ferrari, the Frenchman having held both that position and that of CEO.
Sauber will continue with Alfa Romeo branding through the 2023 season before that branding deal expires.
It is also set to maintain its supply of Ferrari power units until 2026 when Audi enters the sport as new power unit regulations are introduced.
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