Audi now part-owns... the Alfa Romeo F1 team

By topgear, 31 January 2023

Audi now part-owns... the Alfa Romeo F1 team

This is one of those situations that makes complete sense and yet no sense at all at the same time: Audi has bought a minority stake in the Sauber F1 team, on its way to entering the sport as a works team in 2026.

A statement released this morning confirmed the news, reading thusly: “The Sauber Group is pleased to announce that, as per the plans outlined in October last year, Audi acquired a minority stake in the Sauber Group in January 2023.

“This is an important milestone on the way to Audi’s entry in Formula One, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group will be the German brand’s strategic partner.”

So far, so uncomplicated. But as we know, Sauber has been racing as Alfa Romeo for several seasons now thanks to a title sponsorship deal that was struck up in 2018. That deal will last through until the end of 2023, which means VW Group bosses will have the (temporary), er, pleasure of cheering on a Stellantis brand for a year. Right.

All of which is quirky enough already before you add into the mix that the team will be running Ferrari engines (thank you Fiat Chrysler) until the end of 2025.

It’s only from 2026 onwards that the Sauber team will move to an Audi-built power unit when the next set of F1 rules come into force and more conventional inter-company dynamics are re-established.

In the meantime, could someone get in touch with Christopher Nolan and ask if he’d like the rights to the most confusing motorsport movie plot ever committed to IMAX?

TEXT Joe Holding

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