News… not news. That the Sauber Group and Audi had found an understanding for a future together in Formula 1 had been the open secret for several months. The official announcement had arrived last October, but the details were missing, i.e. whether the German company would have had the majority shares of Sauber or not. This morning the note that revealed this important detail arrived.
Sauber, through a brief press release, announced that starting from 2026 it will activate the partnership with Audi. The agreement between the parties was reached in the second half of 2022, with the Ingolstadt-based company taking over minority shares in the Swiss group.
The shares were bought by Audi just this month, so the project was formally finalized in 2023. That’s why the announcement only came at the end of January.
“The Sauber Group is pleased to announce that, according to plans outlined in October last year, Audi acquired a minority stake in the Sauber Group in January 2023,” reads the statement released this morning.
“This is an important milestone on the road to Audi’s entry into Formula 1, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group will be a strategic partner of the German brand.”
Audi’s move, to acquire a part of Sauber’s shares, is only the first of a series that will lead the German company to become the parent company of the team in 2026 and make it completely Audi Sport within that year. Then, over the next few months, Audi will acquire more shares of Sauber until it has a majority.
Sauber thus finds itself repeating an operation already done with BMW in the mid-2000s. In 2005, in fact, the Bavarian company bought Sauber and raced in Formula 1 from 2006 to 2009 under the name BMW Sauber F1 Team.
On that occasion BMW and Sauber scored 17 podiums overall and the sensational one-two at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix with Robert Kubica winning ahead of Nick Heidfeld.
BMW’s best season, in terms of results, was 2007 in which, thanks to the disqualification of McLaren for the Spy Story, it finished in second place in the Constructors’ Championship with 101 points. The following year, however, he did better by finishing in third place (with McLaren present) but at 135 points.
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