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Ex-F1 driver predicts Audi title challenge

With Audi set to join the F1 grid in 2026, Pedro de la Rosa believes that the Four Rings will eventually be challenging for titles.

Audi showcar
To news overview © Audi

Pedro de la Rosa has predicted that the future Audi F1 team will ultimately be challenging for World Championship titles.

It was revealed last year that Audi would enter Formula 1 as an engine supplier to coincide with the sport’s next planned regulation change in 2026.

The Four Rings subsequently announced in October that they had entered into a strategic partnership with Sauber, with the German marque set to acquire the team and turn it into Audi's factory outfit.

Ahead of Audi's official takeover of Sauber – currently badged as Alfa Romeo – the firm has already hired former McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl as CEO, and purchased a minority stake in the Swiss-based team.

Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, de la Rosa acknowledged the current shortcomings of the Alfa Romeo-badged Sauber team, and said Audi would be willing to invest the time and effort necessary for the team to become title contenders.

A marathon, not a sprint

"This is a marathon. I think that Andreas understands that this is not a one-year deal or a one-year project. It's a marathon and they've just covered the first kilometer, so there's still a lot to be covered," said de la Rosa, who raced for both McLaren and Sauber during his time in F1, and was especially renowned for his skills as a test and development driver.

"Alfa Romeo are difficult to judge, from my point of view. Very inconsistent sometimes.

"Sometimes they're really fast, sometimes they're really slow.

"It seems to depend very much on the on track, and also on tyre management; sometimes they seem to bring the tyres into the right operating window, sometimes they're out of sync.

"But this is a long-term sport, and [Audi] will play the game, and they will be title contenders in a few years."

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