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Vasseur explains how Sauber-Audi partnership will work from 2026

Audi is set to partner with Sauber from the 2026 season, with Frederic Vasseur explaining how the partnership will work.

Alfa Romeo-Sauber boss Frederic Vasseur has confirmed how the Swiss outfit's Formula 1 link-up with Audi will work from 2026. Audi will enter F1 for the new engine regulations and partner up with Sauber, who manufacture and run the cars currently sporting Alfa Romeo stickers. The Alfa deal will end after the 2023 season, with the Sauber name returning for '24 and '25 before Audi's entry. In preparation for the arrival of the German marque, Vasseur's team faces a period of up-scaling in order to meet Audi's three-year target to be challenging for wins. To start with, they will be following a model pioneered by Renault/Alpine.

Vassuer on Sauber/Audi plans

"Firstly, we will split completely operations," Vasseur told media when asked by RacingNews365.com about the plans for the Audi-Sauber partnership. "They will be in charge of the engine in Neuburg and the team will take care of the chassis and the operation on track from Hinwil." This relationship will be similar in nature to how Renault/Alpine have run operations since returning to F1 in 2016. For that concern, the engine is dealt with at Viry in France, with the Enstone base in the UK looking after the chassis. The alternative path is to go down a route similar to Ferrari. Everything is done in-house at Maranello, with Red Bull also joining suit with its own Red Bull Powertrains formed to take over the maintenance of the Honda power units after the Japanese firm pulled out at the end of 2021.

Limited shares for Audi

Vasseur also confirmed that Audi will be buying some shares of the company, but that the main focus was on building up the competitiveness of the team. "They will take some shares in the company in the future but we didn't disclose the details of this and I won't do so," Vassuer explained. "I think it is a good way to operate the team, and we had a look at what was working in the past for other teams, but the most important for me is not just the setup in terms of shares or who is managing who, it is a matter of mindset. "To be able to build up in terms of strategy to be one single team and not to have [internal] 'teams' fighting each other."

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