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Audi's Bold Entry to F1 Aiming for the Front Line

Audi’s Bold Entry to F1: Aiming for the Front Line

10/05/2024

Audi sets its sights on a top position in F1, driven by ambitious goals and strategic planning.

Audi plans to enter Formula 1 and be “right at the front” of the grid, insists Gernot Dollner, CEO of the German automaker owned by Volkswagen.

This year, Audi surprised the F1 world by escalating its initial project to eventually buy 75 percent of the Swiss team Sauber – and instead took 100 percent control.

This followed a period of speculation that Audi was actually considering reversing its decision to enter Formula 1 for the new era of rules starting in 2026. Dollner does not deny it, but ultimately, the other path was chosen: to put everything in place to win quickly.

“We discussed it extensively and decided to significantly accelerate our involvement in Formula 1,” Dollner explained.

“For me, there are only two types of involvement in Formula 1: not at all or with the goal of being at the front. Right at the front.”

He says that Audi is not interested in being in F1 just to make up the numbers.

“With the expertise of Oliver Hoffmann, who has significantly advanced the project from the beginning, we are confident that we can meet this challenge and be at the forefront.”

“It will be a difficult path, but Formula 1 is the most important motorsport platform in the world, and we will do everything we can to be successful there.”

Audi has already signed German driver Nico Hülkenberg, who is currently with Haas F1, for the project – and he will begin driving a Sauber next year, before the team’s name changes a season later.

Hülkenberg said that another team was actually interested in signing him for 2025, in addition to Haas F1 and Audi. So, what tipped the scales in favor of the latter?

“The timing of the entire project,” Hülkenberg replied. “When Audi enters in 2026, they will have had four years to prepare.”

“And it will be one of the most radical rule changes in the history of Formula 1, affecting both the car and aerodynamics as well as the engine side.”

“The cards will be reshuffled and Red Bull’s lead will disappear,” Hülkenberg predicts. “With the preparation time, Audi’s power, and the resources that a factory team brings, there is definitely a chance for success.”

However, the German driver admitted that Audi is also stepping into the unknown with its new F1 project.

“It’s very difficult to bet on the future with such a new project,” Hülkenberg cautioned. “Just because a big brand is behind it all does not mean everything will work right away.”

“But I think all the prerequisites are in place to be competitive as quickly as possible.”

Audi's Bold Entry to F1 Aiming for the Front Line

Audi’s Bold Entry to F1: Aiming for the Front Line. Audi’s Bold Entry to F1: Aiming for the Front Line

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