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Audi F1 Prioritizes Passion Over Pay in Driver Strategy

Audi Denies Luring Sainz with Big Money, Says Seidl

30/04/2024

Andreas Seidl emphasizes that Audi F1 aims for drivers passionate about the sport rather than merely offering financial allure.

Seidl, stated that Audi is not aiming to attract drivers merely by using its substantial financial resources, amid rumors that Carlos Sainz is considering a significant offer.

Audi is preparing to venture into F1 for the first time by completing the full acquisition of the Sauber-owned team in time for the brand-new technical regulations in 2026.

Audi F1 Prioritizes Passion Over Pay in Driver Strategy

The brand name will not appear in F1 until then, but Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi revealed he was involved in driver market decisions.

This was reflected in the announcement earlier last week that Nico Hülkenberg had signed a multi-year contract to move from Haas to Sauber starting in the 2025 season.

Sainz, who will leave Ferrari at the end of 2024, was presented as Audi’s main target, with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko stating that a “lucrative three-year offer” was on the table.

However, Seidl, who worked with Sainz at McLaren from 2019 to 2020, denied using Audi’s financial power to attract names to the burgeoning operation.

“Our approach is not to motivate drivers or other employees to join us with huge sums of money,” Seidl responded when asked about Marko’s comments.

“We do have the financial resources of a top-level team, but we really think about how we can use every Swiss franc or euro wisely and effectively.”

“We want to attract people who really want to be part of this adventure and support Audi’s entry into Formula 1.”

Elaborating on the decision to grant 36-year-old Hülkenberg a long-term contract, Seidl explained that he aimed to retain drivers capable of accelerating Sauber’s transition to Audi.

“Given the current level of performance, it is absolutely crucial for us to have the best possible driver duo from the start.”

“It also makes sense for our future Audi factory team drivers to be in the cars as early as 2025 to support the project from the beginning.”

“Drivers can also help us in terms of team motivation and development direction.”

“Therefore, Nico is a prime choice. There is no doubt he is fast. With his experience, teamwork, and deep technical understanding, he brings what we need.”

Seidl remained cautious about commenting on speculation surrounding Sainz, stating that Sauber-Audi might consider recruiting a younger, possibly rookie, driver now that they have the experienced driver they wanted.

“It makes sense to have at least one experienced driver as we face numerous challenges at once. So it could be two experienced drivers or one experienced and one young driver, even a solid rookie.”

Could Audi’s financial power and the ongoing top team project serve to attract other big names? Some do not rule out, for example, that Adrian Newey might make the surprising choice to join the team based in Hinwil!

“Obviously, there are one or two names in the Formula 1 circus that we would like to have on the team,” Seidl responds.

“Someone who not only brings expertise but also draws attention due to their popularity. On the other hand, Formula 1 is not a one-man show. We believe it’s important to build a solid team with the right attitude with the goal of achieving something together.”

“I am convinced that with the right development and expansion of the team, and future operations within the budget cap, we will very quickly be among the top five teams.”

Audi F1 Prioritizes Passion Over Pay in Driver Strategy

Audi F1 Prioritizes Passion Over Pay in Driver Strategy. Audi F1 Prioritizes Passion Over Pay in Driver Strategy

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