Audi F1 exit rumours shutdown
By Ian Parkes
Sunday 5th November, 2023 - 12:00am
Alfa Romeo team boss Alessandro Alunni Bravi has firmly denied suggestions Audi is to pull out of entering F1 entry.
Audi confirmed in August last year it would be joining F1 for the first time, taking over the current Sauber operation and making the Swiss organisation its works team from 2026 when new, more favourable power unit regulations come into force.
Most recently, however, there have been suggestions Audi is considerably behind in its planning, with the rumours going so far as to suggest it was considering a withdrawal.
That is despite the fact it has invested heavily in a new facility at its high-tech headquarters in Neuberg.
With Audi maintaining a low-key approach to date, it has led to considerable in the German press that it may not continue with its F1 plans.
Asked about the gossip, Alunni Bravi has reaffirmed Audi’s commitment to F1.
“First of all, thank you for this question, because it allows me to clarify a bit all these rumours going around,” said Alunni Bravi.
“Audi has a strong commitment to Formula 1, and, of course, together with Sauber. 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 Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake, so until the end of the year, we have certain limitations in communicating about the team, about the future, about the involvement of Audi.
“We fully respect Alfa Romeo for this and we don’t want to make any kind of announcement or more than what is strictly related to the race and the championship.”
At the end of last season, former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl was appointed as CEO of the Sauber Group, with his primary task to oversee the transition of the team from Alfa Romeo to Audi.
Former McLaren technical director James Key only recently started work as the new TD at Alfa Romeo, which, at present, is unbranded for 2024 and 2025 due to Alfa Romeo’s tactical withdrawal at the end of this season.
“The commitment, as I said, is there,” insisted Alunni Bravi. “We are working hard to develop the structure of the team.
“We have a strong recruitment plan in place. James is one, but on a weekly basis, we have new appointments.
“And 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.
“So we are proceeding with the investment plan, with everything, in accordance with the governance that has been agreed.”