Toto Wolff admits Mick Schumacher would be on ‘our radar’ if Lewis Hamilton retires

Sauber are expected to leave Formula 1 to be replaced by Audi in 2026.

A report has suggested that Audi are poised to announce that they have purchased 75 percent of the Sauber Group.

The German motoring giant, along with its sister company, Porsche, were given the green light by their parent company, Volkswagen, to proceed with plans to enter the pinnacle of motorsport in 2026 earlier this year.

Porsche were set to supply Red Bull and AlphaTauri with power units, using the new facility the Austrian side have constructed in Milton Keynes.

Red Bull have started their powertrains project by successfully firing up an engine that was designed and made by some of the best engineers in the paddock, who have been acquired by Red Bull in the last 18 months, as well as existing employees.

READ: Ex-Ferrari team boss has a request regarding Mick Schumacher

However, Porsche started filing paperwork to purchase shares in the team, taking their relationship from one of team and engine supplier, to a merger.

This irked the championship leaders, who were concerned about losing controlling interest of their own teams.

The two parties therefore amicably decided to end their involvement with one another before it had even begun, but Audi are still expected to be a part of F1 in four years.

They will become a works team in 2026, and they are expected to take over from the Sauber Group, moving their operation from just outside if Zurich, to their base on the outskirts of Ingolstadt in Germany.

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Before 2026 though, Audi are now thought to be on the verge of becoming a shareholder within the team, according to F1-Insider.

Mick Schumacher is out of contract at the end of the season, and Audi CEO, Markus Duesmann, has made it clear that he would like at least one German driver as part of his team.

Schumacher has previously declared himself “happy” at Haas, but if he is not awarded a new contract, a deal with Sauber could be on the cards with the German manufacturer on board.

Zhou Guanyu, however, is expected to be awarded a new deal with Alfa Romeo – Sauber’s current guise due to their relationship with the Italian car maker – following a solid debut year for the Chinese racer.

Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, for his part, thinks Schumacher has earned a place on the grid next year, although there is no room at the Inn while Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are performing as they are.

This would potentially give them decision-making rights, which might extend to driver selection.

READ: Kevin Magnussen opens up Daniel Ricciardo replacing Mick Schumacher

“Mick is a great personality, he has talent and is quick. He just needs more time,” Wolff said.

“If a place should become available, we always take the one with the best performance and Mick is definitely someone we would have on our radar, but at the moment both of our cars are taken.”

Schumacher has scored points twice this year, and he, along with team-mate Kevin Magnussen, have helped Haas to seventh in the Constructors’ Standings.