Audi warned about entering Formula 1

Audi will complete their takeover of Sauber in 2026, in line with the changes in engine regulations.

Alfa Romeo will be no more in 2026, as Sauber will be taken over by German car manufacturers Audi, who will join the grid for the first time.

The takeover will come with a huge boost of resources and quality, meaning that the team will be looking to significantly improve on Alfa Romeo’s current finishing positions in the constructors’ championship upon their arrival in the sport.

The team are reportedly looking at signing Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher for their debut season to secure the benefits of having a German driver in their ranks, however it is currently unknown who will be the team principal and who will make up the driver lineup.

Those within the Audi project, such as chief executive Adam Baker, have claimed that their target is to be winning racing and challenging for titles within a couple of seasons, however former F1 driver Allan McNish, who now coordinates all of Audi’s motorsport activities, has warned the team of how big the gap to the top teams really is.

READ: Ex-Mercedes boss gives blunt opinion on Ferrari’s embarrassing moments

“What was very clear to me was when I moved from Toyota at the end of 2002 to Renault as the third driver and also the reserve role, my first ever lap at Barcelona was quicker than my qualifying lap in the Toyota,” McNish told Motorsport Magazine.

“So, the difference between people that are fighting in the middle where – we have to be honest- Toyota were by the end of the season at best, and to where you’re fighting for race victories, is a huge gulf. 

“I don’t think anybody can underestimate that sort of level and now, it’s even more so in Formula 1 at the top.”

READ: Renault warn FIA of engine manufacturers trying to sneak in upgrades

Article continues below

The Audi project looks more and more exciting by the day, as the team have managed to secure the services of Andreas Seidl, who has joined Sauber as their new CEO, leaving his role as team principal of McLaren.

Current Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has expressed his interest in remaining with the team when then transition into Audi in 2026, suggesting that his experience could be vital to a new team on the grid.

Mattia Binotto has been a rumoured candidate to fill the team principal position, as the Swiss is currently looking for work following his recent resignation from Ferrari.