Cover Image for Audi to make $450 million entry in F1 in 2026 after Ferrari’s old allies agree terms

Audi to make $450 million entry in F1 in 2026 after Ferrari’s old allies agree terms

Tejas Venkatesh
|Thu Jul 07 2022

 VW group’s automobile giant Audi AG has reached an agreement to acquire the Sauber F1 team; the German team plans to enter the F1 grid in 2026.

F1 has boomed in popularity in recent years and the sport has grown exponentially. The spur of the motorsport has attracted major automotive giants to place bids for the elusive F1 grid. One of them is the German sports car maker, Audi.

Audi is one of the most renowned brands and has a presence across the globe. The company has a racing pedigree and has participated in Le Mans, World Endurance Championships, Rallying and until recently, Formula E.

They are a part of the Volkswagen group. Since 2021, Audi has been eyeing a spot in the F1 grid ahead of the 2026 regulations change. In a recent press release in May, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess agreed on the team for participating in F1.

According to F1 Journalist Joe Saward, Audi and Alfa Romeo Sauber have agreed on a deal allowing the German team to enter F1. The deal, worth $450 Million, means Audi will acquire the team.

VW group have confirmed they will not partake in the operations of the team. It will be an entire Audi car with engines being built by Audi Sport GmbH in Germany. He gave details about the deal in his blog.

“The whisper is that the deal is worth around $450 million and will see Audi acquiring 75 percent of the shares in the team, valuing it at $600 million. The sale is conditional on the technical rules of F1 for 2026 is confirmed by the FIA but will be a phased deal over three years with Audi taking control of the first 25 percent of the shares in 2023, another 25 percent in 2024 and a third 25 percent in 2025.”

Also Read: Lewis Hamilton confirms the arrival of Porsche and Audi in Formula One

Why do Audi, and Porsche want to enter F1 in 2026

Audi is not the only one making moves to enter F1. Fellow German sportscar company Porsche is also vying for an entry. Porsche, also under the VW group, is collaborating with Red Bull. While Andretti is planning to make a new entrant, adding 11 teams on the grid.

So this raises the question, why are teams rushing to enter F1 in 2026? Apart from the soaring fanbase and branding, two of the biggest reasons are – hybrid power and regulations change. F1 has a major regulations change coming up ahead of the 2026 season. This levels the entire grid.

Power units are predicted to be more sustainable with an added shift to hybrid power. Car companies see this as a great opportunity to showcase their sustainable ventures and clean up their image.

Saward writes, “The new F1 rules in 2026 are exactly what the industry wants as it heads towards sustainability, with hyper-efficient engines and synthetic fuels. There may be others that want to jump on the bandwagon as well.”

Also Read: Porsche set to take over 50 percent of Red Bull Racing’s shares

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