Audi have begun the process of hiring engineers for their engine department in Germany ahead of their arrival into Formula 1 in 2026.
The German company, as well as sister car maker Porsche, were given permission by parent company, Volkswagen, to enter the pinnacle of motorsport in 2026 earlier this year.
The motoring giant is set to purchase the Sauber Group, who have been in association with Alfa Romeo since the beginning of 2018.
The Italian car brand has a business relationship with the team, founded by Peter Sauber in 1993, since 2018, when they came in as a name partner.
They took over the naming rights in 2019, but the partnership is set to come to a close at the end of the 2023 season.
It is reported that Audi will then start buying shares in the Sauber Group, with a view to eventually completing a full takeover in 2026.
At that point, the team will become a works outfit, with the engines no longer being made by Ferrari in Maranello.
Instead, the power units will be constructed in Neuburg an der Donau, the capital of Neuburg-Schrobenhausen, which is a district in the state of Bavaria in south-east of Germany.
A range of job roles have been posted by Audi on LinkedIn, as they begin the hiring process of engineers and mechanics to work at the German factory, 30 minutes west of the company’s headquarters in Ingolstadt.
While the engines are to be constructed in Bavaria, the chassis will continue to be designed and made in Hinwil, Sauber’s current base in Switzerland.
Audi are yet to confirm their driver line-up for 2026, although their CEO, Markus Duesmann, has indicated that he would like a German driver to join their ranks.
That could indicate a future drive for Haas’ Mick Schumacher, but current Alfa Romeo drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, may also be in the mix.
A lot can happen in four years though, so Audi’s main priority is perfecting their engines.
Porsche, meanwhile, are still searching for a way into F1 after their engine deal with Red Bull broke down.