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Audi F1's 2026 Ambition Seidl Plans Major Surprise

Audi F1’s 2026 Ambition: Seidl Plans Major Surprise

16/05/2024

Aiming to disrupt the F1 hierarchy, Audi’s Andreas Seidl reveals a bold strategy for 2026, focusing on innovation and competitiveness.

Behind the scenes, Andreas Seidl, CEO of Audi F1, is undertaking a monumental task: transforming Sauber into a factory team; and overseeing the development of the Audi power unit, set to debut in 2026.

Speaking to the official F1 website, the former McLaren F1 manager provided a comprehensive update.

Let’s start with the thorny issue: the timeline.

Is Audi ahead or behind schedule as the deadline looms?

“I am convinced that we will be ready in 2026,” he assures.

“We are on the right track, both in Neuburg for the power unit and with the projects we have in Hinwil.”

“We certainly do not underestimate the task ahead as a team and we know it will be a race against time to be as prepared as possible by 2026.”

Sauber/Audi will significantly expand its staff, increasing from 600 to 900 people over the next two years.

But Seidl will also invest in transforming the Hinwil facilities, which are at a good level but beginning to age.

“To match the firepower of the top teams, we will take this opportunity to introduce new capabilities that will help us close the gap with the leading F1 teams.”

“The second major issue we must address is infrastructure. It’s clear that the facility needs to expand in terms of sheer size to accommodate all the additional people we will be bringing on board in the future, while focusing on improving the working environment—so that our employees enjoy working and collaborating within the team and are prepared to go above and beyond, which is necessary for the journey we are undertaking.”

“We need to update all our technical infrastructure, which means investing heavily in our research and development capabilities here at Hinwil, but also modernizing our production facilities to meet the level required to compete against the top teams. We aim to significantly increase our internal production capabilities to enhance the speed of parts delivery and developments on the track, while being as cost-efficient as possible under the budget cap.”

“It’s important to mention that the transformation will not just be about simple growth. It would be naive to think that by merely having more financial resources and becoming a bigger team, we will automatically compete with the top teams.”

“The transformation will also require a significant number of changes within the team, which need to be implemented. Changes in our work methods, organization, and culture. A change that will not always be comfortable and will also be painful for some of the steps we will need to take as a team.”

Surprise podiums by 2026?

And what target has Seidl set for 2026? What would a successful season look like?

“To have a competitive and reliable power unit at the start of the new regulatory cycle and surprise with a competitive car right from the start, which means that in the end, we have a competitive package.”

“We started early in Neuburg with the development of the power unit for these new regulations, and Sauber has shown in the past, as in 2022, that even as a small team with limited resources, it can do a very good job.”

“But we are all absolutely convinced and committed within the team. This will be absolutely necessary to have a unique opportunity to build a competitive factory team, capable of fighting for podiums, victories, or championships in the future.”

Seidl warns the competition: as in WEC, Audi is here to win, plain and simple.

“It is clear that if a brand like Audi enters F1, it can only have one goal, which is to fight for race wins and championships in the future. We are going all-in.”

Audi F1's 2026 Ambition Seidl Plans Major Surprise

Audi F1’s 2026 Ambition: Seidl Plans Major Surprise. Audi F1’s 2026 Ambition: Seidl Plans Major Surprise

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