Audi-Owned Sauber Get Off to Slow Start in F1 2024

Audi F1 car 3

By 2026, Audi will have a car on the Formula One grid.

In the meantime, they’re piggy-backing with Sauber, having taken a 100% controlling stake in the Swiss outfit – up from the 25% share they owned previously.

Andreas Seidl, who joined Sauber as CEO from McLaren, will now be tasked with leading Audi’s F1 project, which will be unveiled ahead of the 2026 season.

For now, lovers of the German manufacturer can cheer on Sauber instead…

Best of the Rest​

Anyone that watches F1 regularly will know that Red Bull are the dominant force in the sport.

Indeed, barely three weeks of the 2024 season have passed and already Max Verstappen finds himself as short as 1/16 in the sports betting odds to defend his trophy, ahead of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc (both 12/1).

You won't find any sports betting tips predicting anything other than a Red Bull romp to the Constructors’ Championship either - they're priced at 1/20 to reign supreme once more.

All of which leaves the other teams feeding off scraps. Ferrari won the Australian Grand Prix thanks to a rare mechanical failure from Red Bull, while McLaren appear to have usurped Mercedes as the third-best outfit on the grid.


View: https://twitter.com/ausgrandprix/status/1771770090767425927?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Aston Martin have clinched points in each of the three races held in 2024 at the time of writing, but otherwise it’s a dogfight between the rest to even get close to a top-ten finish – let alone challenging for race wins.

For Sauber, it’s been a challenging start to the campaign. Valtteri Bottas, who racked up ten points in 2023, has not been at his best so far as he, and the engineering team behind him, look to make the most of their Ferrari 066/12 power unit.

That, of course, will be replaced by Audi power in time for 2026 – judging on the early going of the season, that switch cannot come soon enough…

Audi F1 team

Green Power​

There’s a feeling that, while new to the sport, Audi will be ideally placed to take advantage of some significant rule changes ahead of that 2026 campaign, which will include 100% sustainable fuel use and increased electrical power.

The desire from Formula One chiefs to make the sport greener and less environmentally damaging will require a significant change in modus operandi from the established F1 operators – handing newcomers like Audi an early chance to thrive from a leveller playing field than they might otherwise have experienced.

As things stand, work is ongoing at the Audi factory in Neuberg Germany, while Sauber will continue to operate from their Swiss headquarters for the foreseeable future. It’s believed that Sauber officials will also be responsible for race strategising – allowing Audi engineers to learn on the job.


View: https://twitter.com/audisport/status/1585179614980108288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

A timeline for the first Audi F1 power unit has also been pencilled in, with the maiden test drives of the tech inside a Formula One car expected in 2025.

There’s plenty of expertise bubbling away at Audi HQ. As well as Seidl, there’s motor racing experience courtesy of Oliver Hoffman, the head of Audi Sport who has overseen wins in Formula E and, famously, at the Dakar Rally – the first time a vehicle with an electrified drivetrain has clinched General Classification glory at the race.

So while the wait goes on to see an Audi car in F1, the time can at least be passed by giving Sauber a cheer or two this season.
 

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By 2026, Audi will have a car on the Formula One grid.

In the meantime, they’re piggy-backing with Sauber, having taken a 100% controlling stake in the Swiss outfit – up from the 25% share they...