Ex-F1 racer linked to Audi role after Andreas Seidl move

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl departed the British side to become CEO of the Sauber Group.

Ex-F1 driver Gerhard Berger has been tipped to take an important role in Audi’s incoming F1 side, with the German manufacturer set to join the sport in 2026.

After acquiring a 75-percent stake in Sauber’s F1 team, the Volkswagen-owned manufacturer will be entering the sport in 2026 when the new engine regulations are introduced, with Audi set to be a full works outfit.

With that in mind, it appears that Sauber are already preparing for the future, with their partnership with Alfa Romeo to end at the end of 2023.

Following the departure of team principal Frederic Vasseur, who is replacing Mattia Binotto at Ferrari, the Hinwil-based side have poached former colleague Andreas Seidl from McLaren.

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Seidl previously worked for Sauber for four years, whilst they competed under the BMW Sauber name.

However, the German isn’t returning to Sauber to replace Vasseur as team principal; he is actually taking the Frenchman’s second role as CEO of the Sauber Group.

McLaren’s former team principal is set to lead the search for a new team principal for the side, with Berger being linked to a role at Audi similar to the one that the late Niki Lauda held at Mercedes.

At the Silver Arrows, Lauda held the role of non-executive chairman, something Berger has been linked to at Audi.

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According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, this won’t be a full-time role, something which would support what Berger said after departing his role as head of the DTM.

It’s been suggested that Berger would suit working with an F1 side, given his “managerial skills and charisma”.

“The Austrian has the managerial skills and charisma for the world championship,” said correspondent Andrea Fani, citing Volkswagen sources.

“The hypothesis is that he would become a super consultant like Lauda was at Mercedes.”

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Audi are tipped to achieve great things very quickly in F1, given their motorsport history.

Seidl, too, has experience of working for the Volkswagen Group, having been an integral part of Porsche’s stint competing in the LMP1 class in the World Endurance Championship.

Given his own track record, the German will ensure that the Audi F1 outfit has a very strong leadership team, given his own understanding of how important stability and continuity is at the pinnacle of motorsport.