Germany-based OEM Audi has selected Sauber as its strategic partner for its 2026 entry into the Formula 1 World Championship. Audi plans to acquire a stake in the Sauber Group and compete as the Audi factory team using a power unit developed by Audi at its Motorsport Competence Center in Neuburg an der Donau, Germany.
Bringing 30 years of experience from the upper echelons of motorsport, Sauber will be responsible for manufacturing and developing the race car at its site in Hinwil, Switzerland. The company will also undertake the planning and execution of all race operations during the 2026 Formula 1 season.
“We are delighted to have gained such an experienced and competent partner for our ambitious Formula 1 project,” said Oliver Hoffmann, member of the board for technical development at Audi. “We already know the Sauber Group with its state-of-the-art facility and experienced team from previous collaborations and are convinced that together we will form a strong team.”
“Audi is the best partner for the Sauber Group,” added Finn Rausing, chairman of Sauber Holding. “It is clear that both companies share the same values and vision. We are looking forward to achieving our common goals with a strong and successful partnership.”
Power unit development is already being carried out by 120 employees at the specially founded Audi Formula Racing facility in Neuburg an der Donau, with work being undertaken on the electric motor, battery, control systems and combustion engine.
“Sauber is a first-class partner for the use of the Audi power unit,” said Adam Baker, managing director of Audi Formula Racing. “We are looking forward to working with an experienced team that has helped shape many eras of Formula 1 history. Together, we want to write the next chapter, starting in 2026.”
By 2023, Audi plans to expand the Neuburg facility in terms of employees, buildings and technical infrastructure, with the first power unit tests scheduled for 2025 ahead of the 2026 season.
To increase sustainability within the sport, the power units used during the 2026 season will be more efficient than those being used at present due to the use of more electric power. The vehicle’s electric drivetrain will almost match the power output of the internal combustion engine at 400kW or 552ps. The 1.6-liter turbocharged engines will also be run on sustainable synthetic fuels which are net CO2 neutral according to European Union standards.