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Audi makes important F1 commitment

The German manufacturer has made another decision which will impact the rest of its motorsport activities, as it shifts towards a works entry in F1 for 2026.

Audi livery
To news overview © Spa-Francorchamps

Audi will end factory support to other motorsport activities including DTM, Dakar, and GT classes as it shifts full focus to its Formula 1 effort.

Rolf Michl, Managing Director of Audi Sport, confirmed to Motorsport-Magazin.com this week that a decision was made by the Executive Board of Audi and that teams, drivers, and partners were informed of the reorganisation of Audi Sport customer racing.

It comes after former Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, who is set to be replaced by Gernot Dollner in September, campaigned for the change to establish itself as a top manufacturer in F1 ahead of its works partnership with Sauber.

As a result, Audi's Dakar project will be completed in 2024, while the Audi R8 LMS GT3 homologation will be extended so private customer teams can continue to enter events.

Audi: 'Very clear decision' to focus on F1

Audi has been on a massive recruitment drive for talent to work on its power unit for 2026 since announcing its intentions to join the F1 grid with Sauber.

This includes James Key, who joined Sauber as Technical Director from McLaren, while sportscar racer Neel Jani was also named their simulator driver.

"This is the very clear decision that with the focus on the Formula 1 entry 2026 here from 2024, there will unfortunately no longer be financial support for the deployment teams from our side," said Michl.

"This specifically refers to the support of parts packages and Audi Sport's drivers. We will ensure that our current vehicles can remain in operation in every respect. But the strategic deployment has no longer been approved for us from 2024. We had to accept the decision from the Audi board with a heavy heart."

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