Sauber Managing Director Alessandro Alunni Bravi has asserted that Audi is fully committed to joining the Formula 1 grid in 2026.
Rumours have circulated in recent weeks regarding Audi's dedication to its F1 project after announcing over one year ago that it would join the field when new technical regulations come into play.
Audi's arrival is set to see it take a majority stake in the Sauber Group, which is currently in partnership with Alfa Romeo.
However, there has been little communication from Audi since it announced its F1 entry - but Bravi has claimed that this is simply out of respect for Alfa Romeo, whose partnership with Sauber will conclude at the end of the current campaign.
“Audi has a strong commitment to Formula 1, of course together with Sauber,” Bravi told media including RacingNews365.com.
“This commitment comes from a decision not only of the board of Audi but also the advisory board of Audi and the Supervisory Board of Audi Volkswagen. It’s a group decision and the commitment is there.
“Why there is a lack of communication is simple. We are the Alfa Romeo F1 team.
“So until the end of the year, we have certain limitations in communicating about the team, about the future, about the involvement of Audi and we fully respect Alfa Romeo for this.
“We don't want to make any kind of announcement or more than what is strictly related to the race and the championship.
“The commitment, as I said, is there. We are working hard to develop the structure of the team.”
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Major signings that Sauber has made in preparation for Audi's arrival include Andreas Seidl and James Key who both departed McLaren within the last year.
But Bravi stated that Sauber's recruitment process is not limited to headline signings as it gears itself towards F1's new era in 2026.
“We have a strong record recruitment plan in place,” he said. “James Key is one, but we have on a weekly basis new appointments.
“It's not a matter of the involvement of Audi in financing the team or sustaining this development process.
“We have two owners, two shareholders, there is a governance in place according to the different stages of the transaction that will be completed ahead of the 2026 season.
“We are proceeding with the investment plan with everything in accordance with the governance that has been agreed.”