Audi confirms Sauber takeover ahead of 2026 F1 entry

Audi has confirmed it will completely take over the Sauber Group ahead of its Formula 1 entry in 2026, with Oliver Hoffmann becoming chairman of the board and Andreas Seidl CEO.

The German manufacturer announced its plans to enter as a power unit supplier from 2026 onwards back in 2022, later confirming that Sauber would become its works partner. Despite speculation about its commitment to the project due to managerial changes, Audi has now announced it is “accelerating its investment and a full takeover of the Sauber Group from current majority shareholder Islero Investments AG has been agreed.“

“The entry into Formula 1 is not only the pinnacle of Audi’s very successful history in motorsport, but also as big a sporting challenge as it is a financial commitment,” Manfred Doess, chairman of the supervisory board at Audi said. “Through the bundling of Oliver Hoffmann’s responsibilities and the complete takeover of the Sauber Group, we are accelerating our preparations for the 2026 season.”


Hoffmann currently heads up the technical development division at Audi and is on the board, but will step down from those roles to become the general representative responsible for Audi’s entry. 

Hoffmann, who will also become chairman of the Sauber Group, has previously been head of Audi Sport, and oversaw multiple motorsport successes including the first-ever win at the Dakar Rally for an electrified drivetrain.

“I would like to thank the entire team at technical development for the great performance in recent years, and I am proud of the outstanding products resulting from our intensive work that we will bring to the streets in the coming months,” Hoffmann said.

“Motorsport, particularly Formula 1, is my big passion. I am convinced that by bundling responsibilities and taking over 100 percent of Sauber Group, we will further accelerate our preparations for the launch in 2026.

“I am pleased we were able to secure the services of Andreas Seidl as Audi F1 Team CEO. He is exactly the right man for our ambitious plan. Thanks to his broad experience from leadership roles on the manufacturer and Formula 1 team side, he will make a significant contribution to Audi’s Formula 1 project.”

Seidl joined Sauber from McLaren just over a year ago, and has been working largely behind the scenes as Alessandro Alunni Bravi takes on team representative duties for the F1 outfit now known as Stake. However, Seidl will officially become CEO of the Audi F1 Team, and says the takeover will help with future plans.

“I thank Gernot Doellner (Audi chairman of the board of management) and Oliver Hoffmann for their trust and am looking forward to leading Audi into Formula 1 together with a highly motivated team as CEO of the Audi F1 Team,” Seidl said.

“We have a clear roadmap for how we want to become competitive in Hinwil as well as in Neuburg. We have ambitious goals. Realization of them is in progress and will be further accelerated through the complete takeover of Sauber by Audi AG.”

Story originally appeared on Racer