Sauber Managing Director Alessandro Alunni Bravi has insisted that Audi are committed to joining the Formula 1 grid in 2026, in response to recent rumours that the German manufacturer are set to exit.
Several rumours have circulated over recent weeks suggesting that Audi are considering not joining the sport when the new power unit regulations are introduced in 2026, something which would leave Sauber with a lot of work to do.
As per their current agreement, Audi will obtain a 75-percent stake in Sauber come 2026, meaning that the Hinwil-based outfit will become an Audi works team.
Audi are going to be responsible for the power unit which they’re currently working on, although it’s been reported that the development of their engine isn’t going as planned.
Little has been said between Sauber and Audi since their future partnership was confirmed, adding to the suggestions that the Volkswagen-owned manufacturer are having second thoughts.
Bravi has stated that this isn’t the case in the slightest, with the minimal communication for the time being purely being because Sauber are still partnered with Alfa Romeo until the end of the current season.
“Audi has a strong commitment to Formula 1, of course together with Sauber,” Bravi told media including RacingNews365.com.
“This commitment comes from a decision not only of the board of Audi but also the advisory board of Audi and the Supervisory Board of Audi Volkswagen. It’s a group decision and the commitment is there.
“Why there is a lack of communication is simple. We are the Alfa Romeo F1 team.
“So until the end of the year, we have certain limitations in communicating about the team, about the future, about the involvement of Audi and we fully respect Alfa Romeo for this.
“We don’t want to make any kind of announcement or more than what is strictly related to the race and the championship.
“The commitment, as I said, is there. We are working hard to develop the structure of the team.”
Leading the preparations for 2026 is ex-McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl, who became Sauber’s CEO during the winter break ahead of the 2023 season.
James Key has also joined Sauber from McLaren, with him being another high-profile addition to the company.
It’s not just big names who Sauber are signing, with the motorsport company adding new individuals on a “weekly basis” ahead of Audi’s 2026 arrival.
“We have a strong record recruitment plan in place,” Bravi said. “James Key is one, but we have on a weekly basis new appointments.
“It’s not a matter of the involvement of Audi in financing the team or sustaining this development process.
“We have two owners, two shareholders, there is a governance in place according to the different stages of the transaction that will be completed ahead of the 2026 season.
“We are proceeding with the investment plan with everything in accordance with the governance that has been agreed.”