Audi have revealed plans to build their workforce ahead of their entry into F1, but acknowledge that recruiting staff from rival teams could pose a challenge.
The manufacturer confirmed over the weekend of the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix that they would enter the sport as a power unit supplier in 2026, before it was then announced in October that they would join with Sauber as "strategic partners".
However, Stefan Dreyer – Technical Director at Audi Sport – told RacingNews365.com and Motorsport Magazin in a joint interview: "The implementation phase started a few months before the communication."
Since then, 100 employees have been brought to the team, a number that Audi plan to significantly build on in the coming years.
Audi reveal hopes for size of team
"300 plus," Dreyer added. "That's the size we're planning with right now."
Dreyer acknowledges, though, that this is a smaller figure than that of engine departments for other teams in F1.
"I know the team, I know what it can do and I have faith," he continued.
"But it is nowhere near big enough to come up with these resources. For that, we have to recruit internally and also draw on external expertise and skills."
Viewed by others:
Location problems for recruitment
While the likes of Red Bull Powertrains are located close to Mercedes' engine facility at Brixworth – making recruitment easier – Dreyer admits that this is not such a straightforward task for Audi.
"You first have to find the 300 to 400 employees in Neuburg an der Donau and bring them together," Dreyer said.
"That is a Herculean task, to say the least. Red Bull Powertrains already has about 350 people working there. Milton Keynes is 30 miles from Brixworth, though."
The other options in terms of trying to poach staff from rival teams would be those from Ferrari in Maranello, Renault in Viry and Honda in Sakura.
Video: How expensive is champagne in F1?
Although champagne has not been exclusively used on the podium, with F1 recently moving back to using sparkling wine, it forms a key part of post-race celebrations.
But what are the origins of this world-famous tradition? And with so many litres of this luxury drink sprayed throughout the season, how much money does such a champagne shower actually cost?
Check out our handy explainer video below.